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served this country with honor and distinction, was the cause you were meant to lead. and to me that day when we passed the bill in the house floor was one of the highlights of my career in congress, because one miraculous thing happened that day. after you stood and talked about why we needed to do more for veterans like josh omvig to help them before they got to that point of taking their own lives, an extraordinary thing happened. after you spoke members on both sides of the aisle came down to the well and told the stories of constituents from their district who did the same thing that josh omvig did and put a human face on this crisis that was damaging our country, and that happened because of you, leonard. .
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i have never ben prouder of your and your leadership than the day that happened and america owes you a grateful thanks for leading the charge and giving voice to that problem. but leonard's courage and heroism just doesn't apply to his service to his country, not long ago when an intruder attacked his home and his family, leonard was there to stand up and protect them as well. and you shrug it off, leonard, but everybody who knows you knows that the outcome of that horrible moment was inevitable. that truth and justice were going to triumph because you were the one who was there at the right time and the right place. we are honored to have the privilege of serving with you. we wish you and dodi and your entire family the best. don't be a stranger. we are counting on you to continue to inspire us and may god go with you.
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>> i'd like to now recognize the representative from northern missouri, mr. graves. mr. graves: thank you very much. mr. speaker, i rise to recognize the distinguished service of my neighbor to the north, congressman leonard boswell. and was just pointed out, he was born in missouri's sixth congressional district which is the district i represent in harrison county. that's a fact that's probably dogged him throughout his career in iowa politics. we are very happy to have him actually born there. i got to know leonard through his hard work on matters related to aviation. and as has been pointed out today, leonard is a former military helicopter pilot but he later got his fixed rns and most recently been flying a comanche and zoneth. he's been a great a -- zenith. he's been a great advocate for
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aviation. i have worked on countless pieces of legislation to advance the interests of aviation. in the f.a.a. re-authorization which we just finished this year, parts of last year, there was important provision in it to allow residential defense agreement at general aviation airports. this provision would not have survived the process without leonard's efforts. he's been a leathered in opposing user fees which has been an issue though general aviation pilots and ensuring the continuation of programs such as the block aircraft registration program. he has been an instrumental voice and established something that's very important to me and that's the general aviation caucus. he's been very instrumental in the process of getting over 190 members, which is one of the largest caucuses here in the house of representatives. whenever i needed somebody to have courage to stand up for good policy, even when it wasn't necessarily good politics, leonard was always there and i could always count on him to
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stand with me on those issues. i was also told congressman bogswell attempted the greatest little air show in the country and he has come there as a friend and obviously an aviation enthusiast but hopefully he'll join us again this year, july 13, for the show. leonard has served his country in uniform and obviously as a member of this house of representatives and he served capably and he very honorably. on behalf of general aviation enthusiasts across this nation, i want to thank you for everything that you have done to help those folks out and it's been an honor to work with you and it's an honor for me to be able to call you my friend. so with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. thank you very much, leonard. mr. latham: i'd like now to yield to my good friend from west virginia, mr. rahall. mr. rahall: thank you. i do want to join today in
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paying tribute to the career of a colleague, a very good friend, and the gentleman, and i mean gentleman in every sense of the word, the gentleman from iowa, mr. leonard boswell. as the ranking member on the surface transportation and infrastructure committee of which mr. boswell has served, i can tell you that his expertise on so many issues that we have already heard discussed today have been critical to us in passing much needed legislation. much has been said already but not enough can be said to say thank you to leonard boswell for his serving our country as he has in the u.s. army. to have risen like he did from private to lieutenant colonel, to run as many missions as he did as a helicopter pilot in vietnam, and to have won the -- two distinguished flying crosses is something that this nation can never say thank you enough for what leonard boswell has
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done, even before he came to the halls of the u.s. congress. in the real world leonard boswell has truled combined a mid wern farmer's common sense with practical everyday living. it's been that experience that's proven so invaluable to us on the transportation and infrastructure committee. his work to draft critical legislation as a pilot leonard boswell knows very well the tremendous issues facing our aviation community. he served on that subcommittee on aviation for each of his 16 years in this body. during the hearings and markups, leonard often spoke about the critical importance of aviation safety and is an advocate for his fellow general aviation pilots. it was for that reason that leonard received an appointment to the conference committee that wrote the f.a.a. bill that we passed last year. he served as a conferee, providing very valuable first
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hand experience about what some of the irresponsible cuts being proposed at the time in f.a.a. funding would have meant. it's thanks to his deep, deep knowledge of these issues that we were able to get what we did and that we were truly on the right side of this fight and came out in what circumstances at the time would call a true victory for our side. as a strong advocate of veterans, independent truckers, and agricultureure interests, leonard boswell brought that same experience to us as a conferee when we considered theman 21 transportation legislation last year as -- the map -- theman -- the map 21 transportation legislation last year. it gave veterans 3ref6 frens for jobs with highway and transit contractors, again putting his past experience to work, ensuring that our veterans after they have put their live on the line for our country, that they have a job to come back home to
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when they return home. and in addition, is one of the few members of our committee on transportation and infrastructure who has a commercial driver's license, leonard boswell knows very well the very intricate, very complex, and critical issues involved in motor carrier safety regulations. he put that experience along with his agriculture experience to tremendous work for our colleagues. and i know that on our committee on transportation and infrastructure when leonard boswell spoke, every member listened. you could hear the conversations, the sidebars, side conversations stop and everybody would listen to what leonard had to say when he spoke on our committee. he played an instrumental role in the midwest regional rail initiative, established a new amtrak route between chicago, the quad cities, and iowa city. this $230 million project will be completed in 2015 and is creating more than 500 family-wage jobs each year.
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and that's just the start. mr. boswell has been advocating for high-speed rail or for ethanol pipeline. has always been focused on what is best for iowa and for the transportation needs of this nation. he's been an invaluable resource to our committee. i know we will miss him speaking on the committee, but we certainly will look forward to continuing to profit from his experiences and advice to us in whatever capacity he may follow in his many years left. and i would note that again before i conclude as has already been noted that it is the gentleman from iowa that beat mr. boswell that is bringing this special order to the floor today. i think that is worth special recognition as well because it shows a greatness of both these individuals, how they can fight a very hard battle, political battle, yet both remain true gentlemen. i would even submit that in this day of critical fiscal cliff negotiations, that if mr. latham
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, mr. boswell were conducting negotiations, we would be going home for christmas by sundown today. thank you. i yield back. mr. latham: i would like to recognize the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri. mr. petri: i thank my colleague from iowa. i actually want to echo the words of nick rahall in commending both of you gentlemen, especially tom, for organizing this special order. i think it says something about each of your character and your respect for the process and for this institution. we hear a lot about how the camaraderie or the good will has deteriorated in this body, but i think at least insofar as iowa politics is concerned, that's not the case. there are strong differences but there's also strong respect. and recognition that we are
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working on something that's greater than all of us. we are trying to do our best for the american people and for our country. i got to know leonard boswell and his wife, i don't know if you remember this, but i think it was in hershey, pennsylvania, in 1979, a new freshman member of congress, my wife and 8-year-old daughter and i went up to hershey. they had a bipartisan conference there for a couple days. really kind of fun. we got to go on tours. had different sessions. broke down into different groups and i happened to be in -- and my wife in the same group with leonard and doddy, and we hit it off -- dodi, and we hit it off right away feeling here was someone who was not your typical idea of what a politician is, but someone who is in it for the
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right reason and doing public service and a decent person. leonard is a, i think, a very, very low key, very proud, very tough person. and i was raised up with the idea that -- some people say you got to be a firebrand and you got to yell and holler and all that. i was raised with the idea that it's the empty can that makes the most noise. sometimes the most noise is not the way you get things done or you make a contribution. leonard has always been a strong, steady, responsible, honorable, honest participant in the process, someone i have looked up to, served with him for many years on the transportation and infrastructure committee. he's honored us in wisconsin by coming up, his true love of
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aviation, and i think he got his fixed wing -- actually graduated first in his class back when he was taking both helicopter and fixed wing aviation back back in the 1950's. he's been a good pilot of all sorts for a very long time. and a couple of bronze stars and a lot of the other awards that he has received during his service in the military, there is a story behind each one of those. and an important one. and i know that a lot of people are very grateful for what you did during those 20 years in the military representing our country. he's led the natural leader, was selected by his friends and neighbors to be a leader in iowa and then elected to the state
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senate and became president i think of the state senate. he's always shown as i have had the opportunity to work with him, a real concern for his constituents and their problems and person who has gone to bat to make sure they are getting a fair deal and hearing and not just going through the motions. his knowledge of aviation has been a great resource for this congress and for the transportation committee. and i don't normally participate in these sort of things, but i did want to come down here today to just say, leonard, i respect you, you are the salt of the earth, the kind of person that i think we'd all like to be and i'm sure your family's proud of you and your neighbors are proud of you and we thank you for your service for our country. mr. latham: i would like to now
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recognize the person who is the subject of all this, my colleague, congressman leonard boswell. mr. boss well: thank you -- mr. boswell: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you congressman latham. this is the first talk after election night when i called to say congratulations, and a conversation we had a few moments ago before this started was kindly and i think i appreciate you coming to me and saying what you did in this event that took place last november and i wish you well. and i appreciate the cordial treatment you have given me today. somebody suggested to me you may not want to do this, he was your opponent. no, we are from iowa. we don't do things like that. so that's protocol and you may
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be proud today -- you made me proud today and i thank you for it. i have said this on other occasions, you have heard me i regret i'm sorry my mother couldn't have heard this discussion today. i owe a lot of appreciation to those who left the room, i realize most people had to flee for the airport as we normally do. thank you for staying and doing this. i do want to pay tribute to my wife, dodi, i think she's probably watching, i hope you have enjoyed this and so have my children, terry and cindy, joe. their families. . hadn't plan to this coming to a closure but it caused me to reflect back over life and i feel very blessed. tom, you heard it too many times, but i started out in the
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farm house. you heard that a time or two, i'm sure, in days' past. but look at what i've gotten to do when we talk about the american dream and the opportunities that exist in america. and it's been a very -- been very rewarding to me. i can't say enough about that, but enough has probably been said. i realize as i reflect what happened over the last few years i want to hit a few of names. john morris, i think whom you've met, tom, at one time. we started out together. i think back on of sandy carter. you're probably watching over there in our cube. sandy, thank you for your
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service and dedication to the people of iowa and the third district. and i could go on and on. back in iowa, there's jay buyers, sally bowser, grant woodard. frequently i would stand before a group and invite train to stand before you as a surrogate son from vietnam, was one of the refugees and what he went through to yet to become an american and have the american dream. very special. so the list is long. i will stop. i know you have travels to do. but those of you in the room, bruce, thank you for your atributes and, jim, it's good to see you again. jim nussle, it's great too sew you. tim, thank you for your remarks and the service we've had
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together and, tom, i wish you continued success and i know that you believe what's good for our state. we come from the soil, really, and that's probably a good thing. so with that i want to say a fond farewell. i will continue to respond a -- to finally bring this down from 112 to 113, i say it's been my pleasure and my good fortune to live this much of my life in the united states of america and to serve our country and it's the right thing to do. we have lots on our plate. but you know what, we can do
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this because that's who we are. we can and i'm sure we will. thank you and god bless. thank you very much. i yield back. mr. latham: mr. speaker, i want to say thank you to congressman boswell and wish him and dody the very, very best in the future and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar, is recognized for 19 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. speaker. today i'm here to remember the
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sacrifice of an american hero and the bravery of those who served with him. two years ago this saturday, our nation lost one of our own who was serving to protect our country by securing the arizona-mexico border. on december 14, border agent brian terry, william costano, timothy keller, began patrolling an area west of the town of rio rico, arizona, tasked with preventing violent criminals from sneaking in the united states. at 11:00 p.m., december 15, the team was alerted to five suspects in their interdiction zone. after identifying themselves, they were fired upon and agent terry was struck and killed. the men who fought beside him that night were heroic in their efforts to provide aid and to protect agent brian terry. after the dust settled that horrific night, details were brought to light about our government's role in supplying weapons found at the scene of
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the crime. through operation fast and furious, a fundamentally flawed gun-running operation, ran by the u.s. department of justice, weapons like those found at the scene nearly two years ago were allowed to be purchased by a middleman and passed along to some of the dangerous cartels in mexico without the proper law enforcement's interdiction and justice. subsequently, numerous hearings have been held to demand answers as to how this program came to be, who authorized it and who knew about it. my goals are simple. justice and accountability. not just for brian terry who lost his life and the brave men serving him that night but also justice for the hundreds of mexicans who also lost their lives from the weapons from the fast and furious scheme. as i close, please join me in a moment of silence for those lives who have been lost and the loved ones that they leave behind.
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for my part, i will continue to demand answers for the department of justice. i will continue to stress the need for bipartisan support, for getting those answers. i look to leadership not to relent. i also look to the hispanic caucus to break their silence and to take up this issue affecting everyone in issue. and finally, i will not rest until we are certain that justice is served and that this atrocity can never happen again. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. speaker. i am happy to be here representing the progressive caucus and talking about our fiscal situation now that i think a lot of people out there are worrying about, confused about, don't know how it's really going to affect them, wonder what the heck we're doing. sometimes members of congress who aren't part of the negotiations are wondering what's going on too, but what i want to talk about today are the things that are at stake
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for ordinary people in our country, the things that are on people's minds as we deal with these economic issues that face our country. i am congresswoman jan schakowsky and i represent a district, a very diverse district in illinois, diverse in every way. economically, certainly by race and ethnicity, and i think in many ways a microcosm of the country. i know that we're getting a lot of calls from our constituents. the calls that i'm getting are reaffirmed by a poll that i saw on tuesday in our national journal daily on page 6 that says -- it says, poll, entitlement cuts feared most in cliff talks. and it goes like this.
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as president obama and congressional leaders race to avert the fiscal cliff, americans remain concerned that whatever budget deal they strike will cut too much from medicare and social security, according to the poll. more of the americans surveyed are worried about such cutbacks than seeing their tax bills rise, the latest united technologies national journal congressional connection poll has found. and i was looking at who was involved in the poll, and in total 35% of americans worry it will cut too much from government programs like medicare and social security. 27%, that's eight points less, that it will raise taxes on people like you. 15% it won't meet its targets for reducing the federal deficit and debt.
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13% it will allow too much for federal -- for too much federal spending. only 13% are worried it will allow for too much federal spending in the next two years. but when i looked at, for example, women, 40% of women are most worried about those cuts in social security and medicare and other government programs. 46% of people whose income of $30,000 or less, that's what they're really, really worried about. that's the thing they're worried about most. so most americans, that is their top concern. not really so much that their taxes are going to go up and not really so much about the deficit. they're worried about the cuts in the program that means so much to their lives. that's really what i wanted to talk about today. if any members are listening in
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their office and they want to come down and talk about the fiscal cliff, as it's called. many of us don't see it as a cliff. more of a slope, that we actually have time to set the problems straight. that's what most economists are saying. that if we go a few weeks into january, it's not the worst thing so that americans shouldn't panic about this. if you want to come down and talk about that, i am really happy to do that. and so i wanted to welcome one of my colleagues, hank johnson, here to the floor today to add his thoughts. and i know he had another something he wanted to talk about this afternoon, and i welcome you. thanks for coming down, congressman johnson. mr. johnson: always my pleasure, representative shan -- schakowsky, to always be
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with you. you're always a staunch advocate for the middle class, the working poor, the poor. you are a champion for the people. and so i'm happy to be here with you and happy to share some time with you. but first, i wanted to express the fact that last night i came in to do a special order on the situation happening in michigan where a surprise attack, a sneak attack by the right wingers resulted in the passage of legislation, which i won't refer to as right to work legislation, it's more appropriately named crush the union legislation.
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i came up last night to the floor to speak on that issue, and as i am prone to do, i use a lot of analogies. so last night i used an analogy that some find offensive, and i certainly was not meaning to be offensive or use a derogatory term. you know, everybody knows what the n word is. . the n word, mr. speaker, is used to describe a group of people and the n word used to be fashionable or it used to be socially acceptable to use the n word, but now we don't say the n word, we say -- we refer to that word as the n word.
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i had never heard of the m word, representative schakowsky, the m word. it's a word also that describes a group of people and it at one time has been commonly used as a desipive -- descripive term. it was at one time socially -- scripive term. it was at one time socially acceptable. but to my discovery, just within the last 12 hours or so, i have found that the use of the -- the use of the m word is no longer socially acceptable. now, the m word he refers to a group of people, the little
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people. and -- but when we say little people, i'm not talking about the helmsley little people. i'm not talking about the 47%, i'm not talking about the takers instead of the makers as some would describe them, i'm not talking about the middle class, working people, poor people, working poor people that's not what is meant by the little people term. it really refers to a medical condition, dwarfism is the name of that medical condition, and sometimes i guess one can even say abnormally small people, abnormally small people which to
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me is -- i like that term better than dwarfism. i wanted to say to all of those who may have been offended by my use of the term the m word, i want you to know that it was not -- it was out of ignorance and not spite or hatred that i used that term and please know that i will never use that term again. i'll never use that term again. ms. schakowsky: make people understand that there are those who are deeply offended by it and that we should all learn what to say so as not to offend people. mr. johnson: that's correct. it's a learning moment for me and perhaps many others out there. but i'll tell you, if you want
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to find out more about little people, or abnormally small people, or unusually small people, there's a website. there's a group, actually, called the little people of america, and their website is at and i went to that website this morning and looked through it and i have been awakened to the sensitivities involved and so anyone who i offended has my deepest apology, but the analogy that i used even though it used the wrong wording, it was -- was a great analogy in my personal opinion, and it is understood when you put a predatory fish
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into a bowl with a small fish, that small fish has to learn how to get along with that big fish or else they'll get eaten, and that is what the organization known as alac is all about because it puts the legislators, individual legislators in a group setting with the corporations, the big fish, and those legislators who are members of the american legislative exchange council, they get together and they do the work of the corporate big fish who are members of that organization. last night that's what we were talking about and i'm going to
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yield back to representative schakowsky to resume this discussion, and i will participate as i can. ms. schakowsky: thank you very much. i appreciate both -- sometimes as legislators we like to think we are always right. and sometimes we make mistakes, inadvertent mistakes, and coming to the floor to actually clear the air i think is really commendable and i appreciate that. and also your talk about the decision that is were made in wisconsin. government is to serve the people, the best interests of the american people. and right now we are trying to figure out how are we going to, in a fair way, ask americans to
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be able to fund the programs that we need? to fund the services that we need as a country? to make sure that our roads are there and driverable, all the things -- to fund our military so that we can be safe and strong. to help states with -- fund their law enforcement, etc. all those things that are important to americans, and as i mentioned earlier, including things like medicare and medicaid. and budgets aren't just a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper. government policies aren't just documents. but in many ways these are moral statements about who we are as a country. and you know, i think we have to ask, are we really a poorer country today than we were 70
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yearsing a when social security went -- years ago when social security went into effect? when social security went into effect to say we are not going to let older people end up in the poorhouse or out in the street, but we are going to have an insurance policy that they pay into, that everyone pays into during your working life, so that we can assure that when people reach the age of 62, 65, 67, that they are going to be able to retire with some level of dignity. at the time social security was passed 70 years ago, there was a three-legged stool. one was this new program, social security, to provide retirement benefits that you paid for, two, private pensions. that's kind of the common normal then. and many of those private
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pensions were won because workers were able to collectively bargain and get pensions for their families, and, three, were savings. savings for people. so betweenual that we thought we would be able to see a country now where the elderly were lifted out of poverty and they had some security. are we really poorer today than when we made that decision that we are not going to let old people end up in the poorhouse? that was a decision on how to fund a program that has never once missed a paycheck -- a monthly check. ever, in the 70 years plus, never, ever has social security missed a monthly check. so it's been a program that works really, really well. and i just want to point out, social security helps middle class families not just older
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people. i have two grandchildren who are -- who get a social security benefit. why? because tragically their mother died. and so it's an insurance policy for all families. and the other great thing about social security is that unlike many pension programs, there's actually a cost of living adjustment. now, you don't get it every year as seniors know because there hasn't really been an increase in the economy so much in certain years, but it's been a successful, a treasure of our country. some people want to put social security on the table as part of this discussion to reduce the deficit that we face. mr. johnson: would the gentlewoman yield? social security is the -- one of the hallmarks of american civilization. it civilizes us when we have a
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mechanism where we can all come together, put money into a pool, contribute our money, our money, as we work, contribute our money into the pool, and when we retire we have a way of avoiding the poorhouse, we have a way of living out our lives with dignity and with comfort. you paid your dues, you deserve to live out your retirement in a comfortable way, and you put the money in and you will get the money out, as you say, we have never missed a payment and never will. so it being a hallmark of our civilization, it's something
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that many other countries have yet to put in place for their people. they have yet to see the wisdom as our past leaders have seen that you lose and your society weakens in accordance with how you treat your elderly and how you treat your children and how you treat the disabled. they also are able to get social security benefits. so it helps people, it's a social safety net. and this is the kind of system that requires us to have a collective -- it's a collective. it's a mechanism whereby the whole supports each other.
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the weakest of these, if you will, and so social security is not broke. nor is the federal government. the federal government is not broke. now, it has had to borrow money, and when we say borrow money we really mean we offer treasuries out to the public to purchase, and we pay interest on those instruments when an investor who feels good about how solid the american system is, they are going to put money into it. they want to put money into it because they know that this is the safest place to invest money. they know that they'll be able to get their money out when they
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want to take it up. they know that they will get their money back with the interest that has been promised to them. that's the way -- ms. schakowsky: let me say that right now we are paying a very low interest because people do have confidence in american economy, and in those treasury notes. and that it is a good and a safe and a solid investment. mr. johnson: people around the world have confidence in america. it's because of our civilization, it's because of the forward thinking of our past leaders, and it is our responsibility to continue that sense of responsibility to people, not to the leaders, not to the children few, but to the people. we the people -- chosen few. we the people established this
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government and it's ironic that people have now been turned against government as an institution. they believe that government is the problem. they have been led to believe that government is the problem. sometimes government does have problems or cause problems, but i can tell you that in the history of this country the american government has been phenomenal, that's why we are the greatest country in the world. . that's why we are the freest country in the world and the most prosperous nation in the world. so we are not broke. our social security trust fund is not broke. it's not -- it's solvent and
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the bills that we have to pay, we will definitely pay as we always have. and it makes sense to borrow money, by the way, if you can get it at 1% or 2%, and then you can use those funds to put people back to work in this economy which is in need of a shot in the arm. although i might point out that unemployment is down to 7.7%. first time since, what, 2007, 2008, the economy, despite the vigor that has been put in trying to suppress it by politicians in this body, despite their efforts to keep
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the economy from moving forward so that they could elect a president that they wanted to elect, they wanted to make our current president look bad, and so they did everything they could to thwart action to make the economy better. but it has gotten better despite their efforts. and so, you know, i was really hoping that postelection we would see a change in the direction of my friends on the other side of the aisle in terms of being responsible about government and our responsibility to make sure that government works of, by and for the people. i was hoping that we would see a difference, and we still have time, representative schakowsky. we still have time. it's not the end of the year.
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i myself, i'd like to be home for christmas like everyone else, but my highest duty and responsibility is to be here and to move us away or to help move us away from this dangerous fiscal cliff that is coming up, is actually here and, you know, there's a lot that we agree on in terms of avoiding that fiscal cliff. but it seems like the thing that's holding it up is the top 2%. just wanting to preserve the tax, the expiring tax cuts for those top 2%. and they will do so at the expense of the 98% that we all agree we need to extend the tax cuts for. so i just don't understand why it's going to take so long for
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us to -- ms. schakowsky: let's talk about that for a minute. it seems what's holding up an agreement, as you said, is there are those on the republican side of the aisle who are willing to go to the mat to protect tax cuts for the very wealthiest of americans. people who make $250,000 and more. now, of course, our proposal is to say that the first $250,000 of income for everyone, even if you make $500,000 a year, on the first $250,000, i think we all agree that that we should extend those -- that we will extend those tax cuts. it's for the people -- it's for the dollars above $250,000 that some of our colleagues are saying no. we're not going to ask those
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people even to pay a penny more than they were. and i don't -- you know -- and yet are saying the only way that we will consider that, the only way we'll consider taking a little bit more from the wealthiest is to go to the poorest. johnson johnson -- mr. johnson: into social security. ms. schakowsky: i am not talking about children. the poorest adults are the people over 65 years of age and persons with disabilities. their median income is $22,000 a year. median income for older americans, $22,000 a year. really? some this is a fair balance, to ask the wealthiest americans, top 2% to pay a little bit more but, darn it, we're not going
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to do it unless we get those poorest people through their social security, through their medicaid, through their medicare to pay a bit more. doesn't seem right to me. mr. johnson: representative schakowsky, i think it's wrong we would ask people who have paid into the social security system thout their lives and now you're going to move the goal post and put a couple of years more for eligibility. you are going to up the age of eligibility. ms. schakowsky: actually for medicare they are talking about. mr. johnson: and they want to do that for medicare as well. that paul ryan budget would actually decimate the medicaid system. you just want to whack off a
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third of the federal funding and then turn it into a block grant program until the states -- ms. schakowsky: i think $850 billion that would come out of the medicaid fund. i know. mr. johnson: and then the medicare, they want to turn that into a voucher program, put a 1% cap i think on the rate -- on the cost of living increase. 1%. and then give that in the form of a voucher to people so that they can go out and purchase insurance. ms. schakowsky: go to private insurance companies. mr. johnson: it seems to be a kwon certificated attack on that social safety net that has made us such a great civilization. we take care of each other. it's an attack on that.
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it's in accordance with a philosophy of laissez faire economics. ms. schakowsky: let me say one area where i want to disagree a bit with you. most americans support these programs. i'm talking about huge percentages of americans, republicans, democrats, independents who say, no, we don't think that medicare, social security, medicaid ought to be cut. we don't think so. and so i think in terms of the role of government that most americans see that it's important, that when it comes to education, when it comes to infrastructure, when it comes to public safety, when it comes to health care that government cannot do it all.
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americans aren't saying just take care of me. you know, i want from cradle to crave i want you to take care of me. no. americans are willing to work hard and play by the rules but see a role, an important role for government. one role, by the way, if we cut government too much, in some ways we kill the goose that laid the golden egg. here's what i mean. it is true that the internet really did come from research that was done by government. look at the billions and billions -- i don't know, maybe trillions of dollars if you look at the advance of the internet and everything that led from that. the bioresearch, talking about curing diseases, and then of course the money that comes from that, for the pharmaceutical industry, etc., mostly comes from the national
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institutes of health, cancer, etc., coming up for the cures and the medications. that's government research. if we were to cut those programs, you would see -- i mean, nasa and the space research has resulted -- it was really the federal government in many ways that developed the aviation industry. so we better be careful about cutting government too much. mr. johnson: we definitely do think we spend about 1.5% per year of the federal budget on the national aeronautics and space administration from 1958 up to a few years ago. and can you imagine if the united states government had left it up to private industry to achieve what happened in
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1970 which was we landed space ship with men inside and stepped foot on the moon. now, some who are not particularly scientifically astute will say that, well, we don't have anything -- what do we get out of going to the moon? and i, not being the most astute scientist myself, wouldn't be able to explain all of the benefits that society has enjoyed as a result of that victory and as a result took the space program that has continued. but i will tell you at this point after 50 years of investment, we now entrusted the private sector to continue
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the exploration of outer space and they, private industry, is going to take us further than we have been. and so that is the role of government. it's a support structure. it's an investment -- ms. schakowsky: think about the energy. think about the potential in the energy industry if we just helped to promote some of these clean renewable energy technologies. you know, one of the things on this cliff is the end of the wind energy production tax which has been so incredibly successful in helping build this wind industry that is ready to take off but still needs a bit more support. clean energy, to my state, illinois, the middle west where
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we got lots of wind. it's free. and investing in wind energy, if that expires we're being to lose 7,000 jobs in illinois alone because of the failure to help invest in the wind energy industry. mr. johnson: well, it's not profitable at had time for private industry to invest in such a new way of producing energy. there's no profit in it. they won't do it. but government, having the leadership and the vision to understand where we need to go, how we need to take our people into the future, our leadership, we, the public policy apparatus, the government, we the people, the
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government, us, we have a responsibility not just to enhance short-term profits, we have a responsibility as a government to plan and prepare for the future of this great nation. and we also have an inherent responsibility to lead the world. we're all in this world together. we all are going to breathe the same air. we're all going to drink from the same pool of water that existed on this planet. and we being the greatest nation in the world, we need to reduce government down to the size where you can drown it in a bathtub, i think is what grover norquist -- i think
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that's the analogy that he used. if you did that, where would america be? where -- who would be -- how would we have built the interstate highway system? ms. schakowsky: that was eisenhower, wasn't it? mr. johnson: republican, by the way. 1958 i believe it was, decided that this country needed an interstate highway system. . where would we be if we had not commit the dollars to get that done? when we did that it was in the future prosperity of this nation, to link cities, towns, states with a way -- a mode of transportation. they did that in the 1800's with the railroad system. another situation where the
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federal government supplied the seed money and gave away the land to help it become a profitable industry. ms. schakowsky: along rail lines, highways, that's the engine of commerce. that keeps not only our wheels turning, the stores. everything going. mr. johnson: that's what it's all about. government is the entity that primes the economic pump through which prosperity then flows. and so we are now at a point, though, where are we going to turn everything over to the big businesses? and are we going to reduce the
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ability of people to be able to come together in a workplace and bargain collectively? are we going to take steps to eliminate people from voting so that we can -- so that those who are, the chosen ones can elect the people of their choice and all the rest of the people are just supposed to expect to be treated ben nevillently -- benevolently by those seeking to exploit the capital, the human capital, and make as much money as they can, who -- at whose expense is that? ms. schakowsky: you were talking about how government helps to
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prime the pump, and so government sends money and it spins out and often becomes commercialized. one of the -- there are three ways that we can really deal with our economy right now to make it stronger. we can raise revenue, that's raising taxes, we can cut spending, and the third that is not talked about enough is the issue of growth in the economy. jobs. jobs, jobs, jobs. that's what grows the economy. and i am so proud that our president as part of this overall deficit reduction plan has recommended spending about $50 billion on jobs. spend money on infrastructure,
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infrastructure spending, that's supported by both business and labor, because it is so important. it's kind of a no-brainer. if you spend money that will create jobs, you now have people one who are not having to get unemployment insurance or food stamps, they are working, they can support their family. we get them off public support. and two, now they are paying taxes. and they are going out and they are buying stuff. and they are going to have businesses that aren't going to have to hire more people -- that are going to have to hire more people because they are buying holiday presents for their kids. they are buying winter coats now. so the economy grows. that i think is an underrated portion when we talk about how do we save our economy. i have been circulating a letter
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among our colleagues, representative johnson, saying that we ought to encourage investment. that we ought to encourage spending on jobs in this deficit reduction, this economic growth package. mr. johnson: we have to stimulate as government does, economic vitality. we can do that. it's been done repeatedly throughout the history of this country. great example is the recent $787 billion stimulus that was passed back in 2007. ms. schakowsky: some people said it didn't create any jobs. i think the testimony many of our colleagues, almost all our colleagues showed up at the ribbon cuttings. mr. johnson: with the big
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checks. and they were actually clamoring for that federal money. and it made an important difference. it allowed states and local governments to retain teachers and firefighters, police officers, construction workers. the whole nine. that's in part the reason why we have such an up tick in our economy, however modest it might be, right now. that $787 billion stimulus has made a difference and i'm glad to -- i, like i -- ms. schakowsky: it created millions of jobs. mr. johnson: so i readily signed on two -- your letter that you are circulating, your dear colleague letter, and i'm glad to know as well that the
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president has included a modest $50 billion stimulus aspect in his proposal to strike a grand bargain and avoid the fiscal cliff. so all of these things are a part of what's being -- hopefully being negotiated now. ms. schakowsky: you were talking about a difference in philosophy and even economic philosophy. there are those who call that top 2% the job creators. well, if that's true, then where are the jobs? because most of the -- almost all of the growth in income over the last many years has gone to the wealthiest americans wherefore ordinary americans their income has remained flat.
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mr. johnson: actually since 1979 the income -- or the after tax income of the top 2% has increased by about 372%, if i recall the correct number. 372, 378, while as you say, regular working people, the middle class, their incomes have remained flat. and it's actually a redistribution of the wealth of the country. ms. schakowsky: when we have a situation in this country where the top 1% of americans, 1%, control as much wealth as the bottom 90%, that's not a healthy situation. i don't want to moralize about
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it, it's just not a healthy situation. mr. johnson: it's not healthy and it is immoral, greed. when you got to get more, more, more, more and you're not willing to share. you're not willing to -- for everyone to prosper. when you think that a person is poor because they don't want to get out and work, they have bad habits, they didn't get -- do this, they didn't do that, so therefore they don't deserve to be where they are now, but me, i can it the old-fashioned way, i inherited my money, so don't blame me. i'm going to make more money and i don't care about you. i'm going to make money off of you. that's rather immoral. ms. schakowsky: i have to tell you that -- i introduced legislation that actually would increase the taxes on people
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starting at $1 million going up in different -- ratcheting up different tax brackets up to $1 billion and i got a lot of very rich people who say, yeah, that's fair. but here's -- mr. johnson: there's only a few, the coke brothers who want to control the public policy apparatus. they want to control government. so that they can have government to make them more money. that's all they are interested in. is themselves. the u.s. chamber of commerce. ms. schakowsky: let me say this. the other philosophy, though, is that if you have a robust middle class of consumers who will actually go -- have enough money in their pockets, middle class people, hopefully those-- including those that would aspire to the middle class, have more money in their pockets,
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that that is what's going to drive the economy. they are going to go out and they are going to spend the money. and that's going to spread throughout the economy. the wealthiest americans, you know, made by another -- may buy another yacht, but probably are going to accumulate that kind of money and don't do nearly what the middle class does to make a robust economy for everyone. when we all do better, we all do better. mr. johnson: we all do better when the money is circulating. those on the top end, they are going to continue to make money, but those who are just working people, regular working people, and those who aspire for the middle class, when that money is circulating, then we can all collectively become more wealthy. and we will all spend more
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dollars and that means more goods and services have to be produced. and that means you have to have people employed to service the needs of those with the money. so it's just really common sense, instead of trying to break the unions, we should be trying to solidify the relationships that the unions have established with their employers. detroit is a fine example of how the greatest, richest union, the auto workers union, came to the table with the corporate bosses after the corporate bosses had run the business into the ground and needed a bailout from
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government, and president obama made it -- a determination that we are going to invest money in g.m. and chrysler and we are going to not let those companies go bankrupt. ms. schakowsky: that was a lot of jobs. mr. johnson: we spent $700 billion and it was the united auto workers union that sat down at the negotiating table with big business, worked out what some may call givebacks. it actually gave up some of the benefits that it had signed contracts for with the employer. these are things that actually created the middle class. things like working days, working hours, wages, benefits,
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retirement. those kinds of things that people would not have had unless they had been represented by a union. and we had strong unions. so those things -- workers were -- gave back in part to make sure that the corporations could maintain or regain stability. and so now just a short three, four, five years later g.m. is back to being the number one carmaker in the world. ms. schakowsky: and all the money has been paid back to the united states treasury. mr. johnson: i think they still owe us a little bit. we still have -- we still have some of g.m. stock, the federal government still owns some of g.m.'s stock, which they are going to have to repurchase
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those shares from us. so we are still involved, but that's another example of the role of government. and i, myself, i'll never be one to hate government, and i try to explain to people why government is not the problem, governmentle is a part of the solution. . ms. schakowsky: can i ask how much time we have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: five minutes remaining. ms. schakowsky: ok. i want to say a few things about organized labor. i'm old enough, congressman johnson, when i was growing up, one person could work in the steel mills on the south side of chicago, tough job, but you could not only make a decent wage that put you in the middle
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class, you could buy a car, have a little house, modest house, and you could even a i ford to send your kids to college. you had health care pen fits. you had a pension a private pension. and that was the normal. that was the normal in the united states. you worked hard, often really hard, but you could have, you know, make a wage that would afford you a good, middle class life. i think there's a lot of people who think that, well, unions, that is so 20th century. that was yesterday. we don't need them anymore today. but i want to say if we have a low wage economy, some of the companies that are coming back to the united states, you know what they're saying? that the differential in wages between the united states and bangladesh is insignificant enough that they might as well come back and make their products in the united states.
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mr. johnson: you've got an educated work force, relatively speaking. you've got enhanced transportation abilities here. to get your kids and services to market quickly as opposed to the expense of coming and the security of coming across the water. and i'm happy that businesses are looking to re-establish their production facilities inside of america. that's good -- ms. schakowsky: let me end with this, since we just have a couple of minutes, as we face these negotiations that are going on, i think there's a couple of bottom lines. one, and the president has been very clear, we are going to have to ask the wealthiest americans to pay a bit more and number two, i think we ought to say that those programs that help people have a decentre tirmente, social security,
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medicare, medicaid, as well, that is the wrong place to go in order to balance our budget. we don't have to go to the poorest people. we can make those programs more efficient. we can cut the cost of those programs. but we don't have to reduce the benefits and further impoverish people who aren't making a lot of money right now. for me, those are sort of bottom lines for the deal we want to make. all of russ in this together. we should all see each other as our brothers and sisters' keepers. with that kind of philosophy in mind, i think we can come up with some sort of agreement that serves our country, that serves its people, that is just and fair and helps us go forward. unless off final word -- mr. johnson: no, that's enough said. let me say how much i enjoyed
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our colloquy today and i look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that america remains the great nation it has always been. ms. schakowsky: thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, for 30 minutes.
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mr. woodall: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i appreciate your willingness to be here with us this afternoon. i appreciate my colleagues for their take on where we are. i want to offer kind of an alternative view on that. it's not an alternative view in that it's one that is not commonly shared, it's a bipartisan view but we haven't heard it much in this particular debafmente i want to take you back to john f. kennedy. he's a revered president far variety of reasonsism come from a rock solid, hard core conservative district in the state of georgia but i absolutely see the wisdom of so much of what the president -- president kennedy was trying to do for the country and he said this. he said it's paradox -- it's a paradox call truth that tax rates are too high and revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now, cutting taxes now is
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not to incur a budget deficit but to achieve a more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus. john f. kennedy, november 20, 1962. those words are as true today as they were then but we have a different kind of budget challenge today than we had then. the largest budget deficits in your or my lifetime, mr. speaker, were run up during the george w. bush administration. again, i come from a hard core red state republican through and through in our part of the world and i can tell you the largest budget deficits in the history of this country were run up during a republican presidential administration. and those record setting deficits have now been surpassed. we're not running 100% of those deficits today or 200% of those
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deficits today, or 300% of those deficits today. mr. speaker, the deficits today are almost four times larger than what was formerly the largest budget deficit in american history. we got to get a hand ol that -- on that. there are revenue components, there are spending components but it seems like this town is obsessed with the tax side of that ledger. i want to talk about that. i didn't come to congress to be a congressman, i came to congress to make america better. i came to congress to solve the problems that plague my family and my neighbor's family and the families surrounding us in the community. i came to congress to make a difference. so whatever it is we need to do here, mr. speaker, to make a difference, and i don't mean just to change things, change for change' sake has no constituency with me, i mean to make a difference so our children's lives and our grandchildren's lives are better than they would be otherwise.
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i'll go again to john f. kennedy and how he was trying to make a difference. he said this, lower rates of taxation will stim lit -- stimulate economic activity and raise the levels of corporate and personal income as to yield within a few years an increased, not a reduced, flow of revenues to the federal government. mr. speaker, he was right. he was right then, reagan was right when he said it. president clinton was right in the tax cut he is presided over, as was president bush. absolutely true. i'll say it again. lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased, not a reduced, flow of revenues to the federal government. it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. why do i bring this up?
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is there anybody in washington, d.c. who is talking about cutting tax rates? and the answer is no. there's really not. there's not one person in this chamber who comes to the floor and talks about cutting tax rates. we might like to but we're in a tough economic crisis right now and folks are concerned about the revenue side of the equation. what folks are talking about, though, is not raising tax rates. for some reason, for reasons that i can't understand, mr. speaker, the president has gotten wrapped around the axle on an insistence that actual rates go up. speaker john boehner offered him revenue he said if you just want the money, we'll find a way to get money through taxes, it doesn't have to be through higher rates, we can do it through eliminating loopholes and exemses, broadening the base. the president said i want higher rates.
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when we're not talking about higher rate fless white house, mr. speaker, we're talking about fairness. i've got to tell you, mr. speaker, dadgummit, you and i are freshmen in this body, we came with the largest freshmen class in modern times an we came not from folks who dreamed of being a congressman one tai but folks from families back home. who were struggling and people were running for congress because they wanted to find a better way. folks didn't come to be congressmen, they came to be agents of change to make a difference for america to make sure the promise of america continues for another generation. and yet we find ourselves in this debate about whether now is the right time to raise taxes on family owned businesses. whether now is the right time to raise tabses on american job create crors. milton friedman is one of my favorite economists, he's a noble prize winning economist. he passed from this earth but
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his words remain with us. he said this about taxes and i think it's profound, he said there is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar. two kinds. superficially similar. first, he said, first kind when 90% of us are agreed to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10% that happens all the time. happens all the time. i love the generous spirit of the united states of america. i've got to tell you, i know folks from all parts of the world, i'm from georgia, you're from california, but the people in georgia, their yen rossity is second to none. i love being part of that community. milton friedman said it's one thing when 90% of us agree to bear the burden ourselves to help 10% who are struggling, that's one thing. or second, the other thing is when 80% vote to impose taxes
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on the top 10% to help the bottom 10%. hear that. it's one thing when 90% of us agree that we need to bear the burden such that the least fortunate among us can prosper. it's the american way. i love that about this nation. but it's something else altogether, milltop friedman says, when 80% decide they want to tax the top 10% so they can help the bottom 10%. that is not who we are in america. that is not who we have ever been in america. where we let someone else carry the burden. what make this is country great is the shared burden. i hear the words shared burden from my friends on the other side of the aisle. i hear the words shared sacrifice from my friends on the other side of the aisle and i hear proposal after proposal after proposal that exempts most of america from bearing any part of that burden and
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continuing to place the burden on someone else. milton friedman goes on to say this. the first way may be wise or unwise, talking about the 09% of us taxing ourselves to help the 10%. it could be wise or unwise, depending on why you're doing it. it could be effective or ineffective as a way to help the disadvantaged but it is consistent with the belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. the second way, milton friedman said, the way where 80% of the folks agree to tax the top 10% to help the bottom 10%, that second approach seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty. when we call only -- when we all come together to agree to help one another that is consistent with a belief in equality of opportunity and
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liberty. but when we try to amass enough votes in this chamber or enough votes across the nation, so that we can take from one group to give to another group that is entirely antithetical to liberty. and so, mr. speaker, i come to the floor today, not as a defender of the 1%. i'm not in the 1%. i do hope one day i'll be fortunate enough to aspire, i'd like to have those opportunities. i think that's what all kids do in america, work hard and apply yourself. good work ethic, good ideas, you want to be successful one day. i'm not in the 1%. but i recognize the immorality, the immorality of passing on bills to our children and our grandchildren in the form of debt because we, the 80% refuse to take on that burden and instead we try to thrust that
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burden off on someone else. we have burdens in this country and it falls to every citizen of this country to shoulder those burdens. mr. speaker, because i do think it's a moral case. i think folks need to understand what it is the president is proposing and why he's proposing it, i have two sets of figures here, mr. speaker. one is the percent of the income that each kind of strata of american income earner earns. i've got the lowest 20% income earners, the second 20%, the middle 20%, the fourth 20% and the highest 20%. in fact, i have the top 1% pulled out on the side because they seem to attract so much attention these days. . i also have the share of the income tax burden each of these are paying. how many times, mr. speaker, have you heard the president of the united states saying he just wants the top 1% to pay a little
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bit more, he just wants the top 1% to do their fair share. how many times have you heard fair share? i have heard it more times than i can count. this is what i see. for the most recent year for which the congressional budget office has numbers, the top 1% of all income earners, earned 13.4% of all the income in america. i kind of tell you they do it well. no doubt about it. they are 1% of the population, and they are earning 13% of all the income in america. that's impressive. they can afford to pay. they can afford to pay. won't get any argument from me. but today, mr. speaker, again the most recent numbers the congressional budget office has available, that top 1% that's earning 13.4% of the income in this country is paying 38.7% of all the burden. i ask you, mr. speaker, what
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incarnation of fairness leads you to believe that when you earn 13% of the money and you're paying 38% of the bills that you need to do more to do your fair share? mr. speaker, if you think for a moment that you might fall into that category, let me take you to the other end of the spectrum where the we are. i'm not trying to put the burden on someone else, i'm trying to take the burden on myself. mr. speaker, we passed a bill in this congress that gave a payroll tax break to every single member of congress. in fact it gave it to every single member of america, right? every citizen in america got this payroll tax break. as you know payroll taxes are dedicated to social security and medicare. all they do is fund those important programs, every man, woman, and child in america knows those two programs are going bankrupt, but this congress and this president in their wisdom passed a bill to get every american a tax break
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in that category, reducing the amount of tax dollars going into that trust fund. i got a tax break, i didn't want one, didn't need one. i have obligations to contribute to the survival of this economy and republic, but i got one anyway. look what's happening here, mr. speaker. if you are in the bottom 20% of all income earners, we want you to succeed. mr. speaker, if you are the bottom 20% of all income earners, we develop every single federal program around the idea that if you apply yourself, if you put your ideas to work, if we can give you enough of a helping hand here, a hand up there, that you will be able to change your economic future. you will be able to improve your economic lot tomorrow relative to today. today if you are in the bottom
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20% of all income earners, in fact if you are in the bottom 40% of all income earners, the tax code pays you money. you get every penny of your pay back. it pays you money. i ask you, mr. speaker, what's becoming of our republic? how are we defining fair share? there's no, no, no constituency in this nation that wants to extend a helping hand more than my constituency does back home. now he where that comes from and you see it right now in the tax rate, mr. speaker, folks are saying let me give away all the money i can right now because the tax bills, tax code is going to change and i'm not going to give away money next year because i'll get punished for it. folks who can give, do give. folks who can support this country do support this country. mr. speaker, the top 208% of all income earners -- top 20% of all income earners in this country earn 50% of all the income.
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the top 20% of all income earners earn 50% of all the income. we can talk about whether or not that's right. we can talk about where those jobs come from. why we can't get more high-paying jobs. why the highest corporate tax rate in the world is driving those jobs overseas. we can talk about that, but the fact is 20% of americans earn 50% of all the money. so, what's the fair burden of the bills for them to pay, mr. speaker? top 20% earn 50% of the money. so they should pay 50% of the bills. they should pay more than their fir share. 60%, maybe 70% of the bills. mr. speaker, the top 20% of income earners today in america pay 94% of all the bills. 94.1, in fact. what that means, mr. speaker, then is that the other 80%, the other 80% of us, families here
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in this chamber, 80% of america is only paying % of the bills. -- 6% of the bills. when you are in a republic, a lot of folks say a democracy, we are not a democracy we are a republic, but when the people rule, when the people rule, what becomes of you when 80% of the people are only paying 6% of the bills, what kind of decisions do i make? i know the answer to that, mr. speaker, because i love things that are free with rebate. i don't know if you read the c.v.s. and wall green ads, i look them up on saturday night so i know what to pick up on the way home from church, and if toothpaste is free with rebate, i don't care if i have 12 in the closet at home, i'll go by and pick it up because it's free. we make decisions based on how much things cost us. and right now if you think government is too big in this country, if you think we waste
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government dollars in this country, if you think we tax you too much in this country, understand that when we go to the voting booths, i get to vote for 100% of government benefits. and i only have to pay for 6% of it. that's true for everybody in the 80%, mr. speaker. is it who we are as a people that 80% of us who all get to vote are not asked to shoulder the burden of today's bills? the thing is, mr. speaker, it's not as if they are getting a free ride, it's not as if we are getting a free ride. we are passing the burden on to our children and our grandchildren. you may not have to pay the bill today. your family might not have to pay the bill today. but your children and your grandchildren are going to have to pay that . it's immoral. it's immoral. i say that to my conservative colleagues back home in georgia. i say if someone's willing to spend your money, and they are
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not willing to raise your taxes, don't you dare applaud them. don't you dare applaud them because you are going to have to pay those taxes later when the debt comes due. we need to stop the spending or pony up the money to pay the taxes, but, mr. speaker, don't you dare let it be said the top 1%, they earn 13% of the income, they are paying 40% of the bills, and the president of the united states thinks that's not enough, they need to pay more. be very careful, mr. speaker. -- mr. speaker, about changing who has skin in the game in this country when we don't have skin in the game as voters, we make bad decisions. and what has always made america great is there has been more that unites us than divides us. one of the things that's always united us is we all have skin in the game. the changes that have been made not tax code are changing that, mr. speaker. i'm not the first one could many up with this idea. a man much wiser than i am, much
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earlier in this country's history, benjamin franklin, observed that very same thing. he said this. when the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. one of the great thinkers of his time, mr. speaker, and what he observed is not rocket science, it's common sense, but it's worth restating, and that is when you are in a republic, when you are in a democratcy, 51% of the people can -- democracy, 51% of the people can get together and say i don't want to shoulder any of the burden. i want to put it all on the 49%, and let's live life that way. and that signals the end of the republic. it's always been true. it always will be true. what unites us as a country is that we are not shirkers of responsibility, we are accepters of responsibility. and we will skin in the game. mr. speaker, i don't want to let
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it be said that the president today, president obama, is the first president to have ever come up with the idea wouldn't it be neat if none of the voters have to pay for anything except for the top 1%. wouldn't that be a good plan? that's actually been the plan of every american president in my lifetime, every congress in my lifetime. why? because folks want to get elected. folks want the voters back home to think nice things about them. guess what? when i go home and tell people they have to pay for government, they are less excited when i tell them it's free. 1979, last president from the great state of georgia, jimmy carter, when he took office, the bottom 80%, most of us, 80% of us as americans, paid 35% of the bills. 0% of us paid 35% of the bills. 1979. the top 1% at that time were paying 18% of the bills. look what's happened in my adult lifetime, mr. speaker. this redline represents the burden that we pay on the 1%.
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the blue line represents the burden we placed on the 80%. it has show changed today the bottom 80% of us, middle class america, the bread and butter of this country, are paying 6% of the bills. mr. speaker, we owe america better than that. folks need to make informed decisions at the voting box that government isn't free. we spend $3.8 trillion, trillion dollars a year in this government. pp when you are paying six cents out of every dollar, you may think you're getting your money's worth, but if you are paying 10 cents out of every dollar or 50 cents out of every dollar or $1 out of every dollar, you begin to view your responsibilities for ensuring your government dollars are spent wisely differently.
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i just asked you. we are in control of our tone destiny. i talk in schools all the time, what's so great about this country is they are going to run it one day and it's going to look however they want it to look within the bounds of the constitution. is this the kind of droin you want to live in where when times get tough, where burdens have to be carried, when bills have to be paid, more and more often we say, you know what, don't tax me, tax him. he's the one who should shoulder the burden. the dangerous, dangerous precedent. there is no question the wealthy should pay more in this country. they earn more, they should pay more. they have more disposable income. i never had a wealthy man or woman come to me and say i don't want to pay my fair share. folks come all the time and say i'm willing to pay more, except i think you're going to throw it down a rat hole. and if you in congress get your act straight and put us on a
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path to a balanced budget, i'll be happy to make a share to make that happen. love this contry. this is not the country you and i grew up in, mr. speaker. why is it if we are talking so much about taxes, why aren't taxes the problem? or the solution? the truth is, you no he this, mr. speaker, if we tax everything in america -- you know this, mr. speaker, if we tax everything in america at 100%, if we took everything from every family in america, if every man, woman, and child had all of their income confiscated, if we sold your clothes, house, possessions on the auction block, if we liquidated every company in america and put all that money into a became account at present value, we still wouldn't have enough money to pay for all the promises that this congress and past presidents, past congresses, this president, has made. this is what i have here, mr. speaker, i have a chart of revenue versus spending. this green line is revenue this
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this country as a percent of the size of our economy. turns out wealthy people are smart. if you start taxes part of their income at 90% and part at 20%, they move all their income from 90% to 20% category. that's what happens here. no matter what the tax rates have been over the history of this contry, the modern history of this country, americans are willing to give, about 18% of g.d.p. in tax revenue. just the way it's been. tax rates have been as high as 90%. we are only paying 18%. taxes have been as low as 28%. we were paying 18%. the red line represents spending. that's what i want to point out, mr. speaker. spending, historically, has been flat as well. red line comes up above the green line which shows you the budget deficit we have been running. it's been a common occurrence in the history of this contry. but we are spending today -- country. but we are spending today -- if we closed congress today, mr. speaker, if we never make one new promise, not one new promise
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in this country, this red line represents the cost of all the promises we have already made. spending, not taxes, is the problem. we are in a spending driven crisis. if you don't believe it, mr. speaker, i have another chart here, the green line again, this one goes from 2006 out to 2041. the green line represents the current tax that is are on the books. the red line represents the spending that we have already promised out of this body. and the blue line represents the tax increase that the president is proposing. the tax increase on the small businesses, on family-owned businesses, tax increase that are going to lead to slower growth and the jobs market, this blue line represents the sum total of that tax increase. . i know enough to know, if i'm bringing in this much money and spending this much money, adding this blue line to it
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won't cover it. we're bringing in the same revenue we've always brought. in the president can raise taxes all he wants to, he'll never be able to pay for the spending promises he's made. there's not enough money to do it. spending is the problem. current taxes, president's tax increase, president's spending plan. doesn't come to balance, mr. speaker. we can do better. in fact, here's the president's 10-year budget plan, mr. speaker. the president raises taxes by $2 trillion if his budget plan and doesn't low they are projected debt by one penny. not by one penny if its projected levels in 2013, 2014, 2015, not in 2016, not in 2017, but just a little bit, i blew it up so everybody can see it, if you raise tacks by $2
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trillion, he predicts that way out in 2021, things will be a little bit better for america. just a little bit better. not $2 trillion better but just a little bit better. it's not the right plan, mr. speaker. row know what is the one -- the right plan? the one we passed here in the house. the one we passed in a bipartisan way. i mean the only budget in the entire city of washington, d.c. that has been passed. it doesn't just make a little bitity change you can't see 10 years from now. it takes us from this red path, our current spending path, our current debt and deficit path, and it puts us on the road to balance. on the road to balance. not just on the road to eliminating our annual deficit bus the road to finally paying all the bills back. taxes can't do it, mr. speaker. they can destroy the economy
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but they cannot pay the bills. spending is the problem. we can take that challenge on, mr. speaker. we have in this house with our budget passed in a bipartisan way, we took on those tough challenges. i say to the president again, mr. speaker, i know he wants to raise taxes. he's opinion talking about it for two years. but where are his spending cuts? they ask the folks in the presidential debate, mr. speaker, republicans, would you agree to a $1 tax increase if we cut spending by $10. and everybody said in. -- said no. i challenge the president to give that a whirl. take all these tax increase he is wants to create, the ones that have no chance of solving the problem, take those tax increases and couple them, 10-1, with spending cuts.
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couple 9-1 with reforms an programs. couple them 8-1 with things that will actually matter to american families and send that bill to the congress. send that bill. are we serious about softing the problem or are we not? the budget we passed in this united states house says we are, mr. speaker. i challenge the president to be equally serious in four years of his budgets, we have never once seen him introduce one that will balance. we've seaver once seen him introduce one that will come to balance or pay back eavep penny of our national debt. the bipartisan budget we passed in this house does all those things. i would love to see the president's proposal for achieving that very same goal which is absolutely critical for the american economy. for american families. and i dare say, mr. speaker, for the american way of life, with that i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. seeing no other speakers -- under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker.
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mr. gohmert: as most anyone can tell you, it's important to know who your friends are, who your enemies are, and that's absolutely true when it comes to knowing who to deal with favorably and unfavorably when it comes to foreign relations. when it comes to gifts to foreign nations. an article from december 11, by maxim lott says the following. key lawmakers are expressing concerns about the obama administration's plan to send
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20 f-16 fighter jets to egypt. where new president mohammed morsi's allegiances are as uncertain as his grip on power. under a foreign aid deal signed in 2010, when morsi's u.s. friendly predecessor hosni mubarak was in charge, the u.s. is giving the -- we're giving the plains to egypt -- the planes to egypt's air force. which already has more than 200 of the aircraft. the first four jets are to be delivered beginning january 22, a source at the naval air base in fort worth where the planes had been undergoing testing told but the $213 million gift is raising questions on capitol
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hill. morsi is under fire for. the article gos on, buchanan, who recently called for ening foreign aid to egypt altogether said the muslim brother-backed morsi government has been sending increasingly troubled messages, or signals, to washington and giving it state of the art fighter jets is a dangerous idea. he's quoted as saying, american tax dollars must not be used to aid and abet any dictatorial regime that stands with terrorists. representative thornberry of texas, vice chairman of the armed services committee said eyipt is a wild card under mor
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see. -- under morsi. at this point, we don't know where egypt is headed, said thornberry. we should be cautious of driving them away but also be cautious of the arms we provide. the article said last week the supporters of mmbing orsi captured dozens of protesters, detaining and beating them before handing them over to police. according to human rights advocates, morsi-backed groups have been accused of using rape to intimidate feel protesters who gathered in cairo's square to protest a sharia based legal system and his neutering of the legal system. the u.s. government ordered and paid for the fighter jets for egypt's military in 2010. but since mubarak's ouster, the democratically elected morsi
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has sent mixed signals about whether he wants an aslines with washington, even meeting with read -- leaders in iran earlier this year. the morsi-led muslim brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner for democracy as they promised given the recent attempted power grab, a senior congressional aide told representative ileana ros-lehtinen who chairs the house committee on foreign affairs recently criticized u.s. military aid to eyipt he she said the obama administration wans to simply throw money at an egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the united states? the package had to be approved by lawmakers in washington while the basic fmbing-16 has been a military work horse for top air forces for more than 25 year the cockpit electronics
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are constantly updated and the models egypt is getting are the best defense contractor lockheed martin makes. it was a great day for lockheed martin in a -- and a testament to the enduring partnership we made to the government of egypt said the vice president of lockheed martin's programs. he said we're committed to prosiding our customer with an advanced fighter. the f-16's maneuverability and combat radius exceed that of all fighter aircraft, the deprescription of the plane reads. the f-16 can fly more than 500 miles, deliver weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft and return to its starting point. an all-weather capability allows toyota accurately
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delivered or nants in nonvisual bombing conditions. pentagon spokesman said the united states and egypt have been -- have had an important alliance that is furthered by the transfer. the u.s.-egypt defense relationship has served as the cornerstone of our broader strategic partnership for over 30 years, said lieutenant counselor wesley miller. the delivery of the first set of f-16's in january, 2013, reflects the u.s. commitment to supporting the egypt military's modernization efforts. egyptian acquisition of f-16's will increase our military's interoperability and enhance egypt's capacity to contribute to regional mission sets. a foreign policy analyst at the cato institute warned that egypt's murky intentions could
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lead to the prospect of israel facing an air assault from even more u.s.-made planes. should an overreaction by egypt's -- eyipt spiral into a broader conflict between egypt and israel, such a snare wrow would put u.s. officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware to both belligerents. given washington's fiscal woes, american taxpayers should no longer be egypt's major arms supplier. there was an article that came out in september of 2012 after the 9/11 horrific killing, murdering of our ambassador an three other americans, the wuninged of other americans, who apparently this
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administration is keeping under wraps so that members of congress cannot interview them and find out what really went on. etch after the administration sent out ambassador rice with false talking points, we can't find out who created the false talking points, apparently started out more correct but became false the way they were used. provided such false information to numerous networks and people in america and around the world. but one thing we do know, we have the president on video and accurately quoted, with this quote. he gave an interview with
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telemundo on september 16, 2012, in which he said, i don't think we could consider egypt, i believe he said a pronoun, them, i don't believe consider egypt an ally but we don't consider them an enemy. they are a new government that is trying to find its way. and yet we've still got people in our air force at the incredibly able lock heed martin facility who are not aware that egypt is no longer an ally. that the muslim brotherhood won the election and they are about to push through a shari'a-based constitution that will further
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persecute christians and jews. you have a leader in morsi that, yes, he helped temporarily suspend the altercation in the gaza strip with the massive number of rockets that were being fired -- flown out of the gaza strip into israel, a constant death threat hanging over israel. we haven't learned of anything that would indicate that he is slowing the growing importation through tunnels and otherwise into the gaza strip of more and bigger rockets that threaten israel. and the president of the united states does not know if egypt is an ally, he wouldn't say they're an enemy yet.
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even though they didn't stop the protesters as they're required to do from climbing up on our embassy walls, which is american property, and bringing down the american flag and running up the muslim brotherhood flag. mr. speaker, i'd humbly submit that until we know for sure that egypt is not an enemy, we should not be sending 20 m-16's, the most advanced generation of f-16's, to a country who has made -- many of its leaders have made clear they want israel gone from the face of the earth. now, lockheed martin relied on the representations of the
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united states government that we were going to buy these planes and give them to our ally, egypt. perhapses it would have been good if this administration had remembered that the mubarak administration in egypt was an ally. they were an ally according to the agreement that this administration made with their friend and ally, to send them a gift of 20 f-16's. but they forgot that. and they supported the removal of mubarak who at least made some pretens of trying to keep the peace there on the border of israel. morsi on the other hand, coming from the muslim brotherhood, doesn't seem so inclined.
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simply engaging gaza in asking them to hold up on sending rockets in to mock, hit, potentially kill israelis was a nice gesture but it's hardly evidence of a substantial nature that this is an ally. it's why the president hasn't made clear we're absolutely certain now they're our ally. well, until we are certainly certain they're an ally, we don't need to be sending them the means and methods to kill israeli friends. the israelis are suffering enough. and in part, due to bad judgment
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here in the united states, this administration decided that when others outside the united states asked us to go in and get rid of gaddafi, despite this administration's alliances and relationship with gaddafi, we provided air cover and enabled al qaeda-backed revolutionaries to take out gaddafi. gaddafi was not a good man. he had blood on his handles. but after 2003 the bush administration, as followed by the obama administration, was working with gaddafi and was completely transparent about all weapons he had. not so with what's going on in libya today. at some point, instead of the
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president of the united states trying to nullify the constitution and saying, you know what, i disagree with that marriage law that congress did, so we're going to ignore it and as i speak so it shall be the new law, that's what kings do, that's what pharaohs do. so it would seem a little bit hypocritical if you have someone from an administration who said, you know what, we don't like the immigration law and so as i speak it, so shall it be, i will make, i will pronounce new law because i don't like what was dual passed by republican -- duly passed by republicans and democrats in both the house and senate and signed by a prior president, so as i speak new law, so shall it be. and so it does seem a little hypocritical if an administration like that were to turn around and say morsi is
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just suspending civil rights in egypt and we're not sure that he's a good guy for doing that, well, that's very interesting. because what you have in egypt is a leader who's taking away civil rights, who is ignoring the existing law and going to -- he has backed off of some of the abuses of the law, but just make law as he sees fit. it's time that the people in america, mr. speaker, made it clear to the white house that it's the united states that your allegiance is owed to. it's not to nato, it's not to o.i.c., yes, we have alliances with them. it's not with the u.n., even though we have agreements with them. but your number one alliances to -- alliance is to the people of the united states of america.
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and when anyone is not a supporter, is not an ally or is someone we're not sure of their ally status, it should not be a country that we start giving planes to. and when they're made with the prior administration, because this administration had a good working relationship with mubarak, sufficient to cause president obama to work this deal with hosni mubarak, the leader of egypt, and sufficient to make them want to just give egypt under the leadership of mubarak 20 f-16's, once that leadership changes, and we no longer know whether they're an ally, it is outrageous to send them or to even contemplate sending them planes. what you do with those 20 planes that we already agreed to buy as the u.s. government and give away is you give them to someone
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you know is an ally. you want to give them to somebody, give them to israel. israel believes in the same value of life as we do here in the united states. they believe in the equality of women, they believe in the value of children, they do not believe women and children are property of some man. they have our values and they have had our back. some of the best defense money we can spend is providing defense to israel. because any nation, look it up, any nation that has said they want to destroy the little satan of israel normally follows it up
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by wanting to destroy the big satan, united states. so if the little satan, according to these wild-eyed radical terrorists, they see israel as the little satan and want to hit israel, we will be next. we're next on their agenda. so it is good defense for the united states when we help protect our friend israel. and the thought that this administration would even still entertain the possibility of sending 20 f-16's to egypt after we supported the deposing of our ally, president mubarak, is outrageous. and what i would hope is that somebody in the administration would say, mr. president, we're going to look pretty stupid if
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we send 20 f-16's of the most advanced generation to egypt when they're making waves about and some of their leadership thinks they ought to go ahead and get rid of israel. so maybe we better hold up on that and you got people like congressman gohmert over on the hill who's talking about how stupid it would be to give 20 f-16's to a potential renegade government, if they continue to abuse civil rights of people in egypt, he's talking about how stupid it would be. why don't we go forward and say, we can't believe anybody would think for a moment that we're going to send 20 f-16's to a country when the president has said we don't even know if they're an ally. i would hope somebody would tell the president, let's go out and say, people like gohmert need to
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calm down because we're not going to send -- and i would welcome that news. but until that happens people need to be speaking up and letting the white house know this is outrageous. you don't send advanced aircraft as a gift to a country that has been less than helpful and we're not even sure if they won't take out israel or try when they get a chance. it's a different government, it's not the same country, not the same administration with whom we made an agreement. it's not continued under the same constitution or laws. we got to make sure we have an ally and we don't know that. and in fact the indications are constantly to the contrary.
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so as soon as secretary clinton goes out, after morsi goes into gaza, expresses great sympathy for the people in gaza, despite the fact they took over a gaza strip from israel that israel unilaterally gave away, hoping it would buy them a semblance of peace, and fully equipped with greenhouses and businesses and ways to make a living, and ways to live in great us is tens than the gazz -- sustenance than the gaza strip, they walked away from it, gave it away, and immediately the greenhouses were destroyed and they can keep stirring up the venom of hatred among the people, though the people of israel had just done
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an incredibly unilateral and generous thing, hoping to buy peace. but what we see over and over, whether it's in southern lebanon, whether it's in the gaza strip, wherever it is, any time historically, going back over 3,000 years, any time israel has given away land, hoping to buy some peace, not only have they not bought peace, that land they gave away has ultimately, at some point, been used as a staging area from which to attack it. how sad would it be if israel's generous gift of the gaza strip, with ways to make a living and have full sustenance, have plenty to eat, ways to make a living, they gave that as a gift. they took the land and destroyed their weigh ways of -- their
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ways of sustenance. and then the ultimate irony, on top of the irony of that being used as a staging area to launch rockets on a continuous basis into israel, how ironic if that ends up being the fly-over area for new f-16's that we give to egypt, that egypt uses in an effort to attack israel once again. we cannot allow the continued attacks on our allies. israel has been an ally. israel is operating under the same rules of government that they have when they have been our close ally. they've made mistakes, so have we. but they're our friend. and friends, as i saw when i was
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down in florida not long ago, billboard said, friends don't let friends get nuked. we need to take that to heart. but this article from back in september, the day after 9/11, the president said in this article, september 12, from nbc, president obama said on wednesday that while he does not believe egypt is an ally of the united states, he also doesn't consider the country an enemy. quote, i think we're going to have to see how they respond to this incident, unquote. obama said in an interview with telemundo anchor, a host.
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he was referring him to tuesday's protests in egypt. during which demonstrators angered by a movie trailer parodying profit muhammad breached the u.s. embassy in cairo. . what we're going to expect is that the egyptian government is responsive to our insistence that our embassy is proketted and personnel is protected and if they don't take those responsibilities as all countries do, that's going to be a real big problem. president's also quoted as saying, libya is a government that is very friendly toward us. the vast majority of libyans welcome the united states' involvement. they understand that it's because of us that they got rid of a dictator who would crush their spirits for 40 years.
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those are quotes from president obama. article says president obama expressed confidence, quote, our hope is to be able to capture them -- talking about the people that attacked us in libya -- they were going to have to obviously cooperate with the libyan government. and you know, i have confidence that we will stay on this relentlessly, because chris stevens advised me and secretary clinton during the original libyan uprising. someone that libyans that he was on the side of the people and we are going to get help and get cooperation on this. well, that's what the president said in september. and he said we're going to pursue the killers of ambassador stevens and the three others relentlessly is his term.
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we will stay on this relentlessly. and yet what we have seen, we find out they may have the instigator. and there is no outrage that this man has not been provided, turned over to the united states. there is no outrage that this man has not been brought to justice. friends don't let other friends get nuked. and friends don't send 20 f-16's to the enemies of their friends. it's time that this administration begin to understand history to the point that when you reward your enemies, your enemies get stronger and they get more abusive and more threatening. but the best thing that this administration can do is reward friendship and punish our
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enemies and then our enemies cower and our friends are emboldened instead of what this administration has done the other way around. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the speaker will entertain a motion to adjourn. mr. gohmert: i move that we do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. the house stands adjourned until monday for morning hour debate. >> the house agreed for a plan for promoting the security at afghan women and girls as part of the 2013 defense
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authorization bill. the house returns monday at noon eastern, 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. as the house wraps up, boehner briefed reporters on the status of the fiscal cliff talks. this is 10 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. more than five weeks ago republicans signaled our willingness to avert the fiscal cliff with a bipartisan agreement that is truly balanced and begins to solve our spending problems. president still has not made an offer that meets those two standards.
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republicans have. while the president promised the american people a balanced approach, his proposals have been anything but. he wants far more in tax hikes and spending cuts he'd once new stimulus spending and the ability to raise the debt limit whenever he wants without any cuts for -- or reforms. it is clear the president is not serious about cutting spending. spending is a problem. how big the problem? look at this chuart. this line is the current base line for revenue. here, if the president got everything he wanted, over $1.40 trillion in taxes, this is what that would represent. if you look at the spending problem, you see it does nothing. nothing to stop the spending problem that our country has.
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republicans want to solve this problem by getting the spending down. the president wants to pretend the spending is not a problem,. that is why we do not have an agreement. the chart depicts what i have been saying for a long time -- washington has a spending problem that cannot be fixed with tax increases alone. the right answers is to start cutting spending, addressing our debt, and paving the way for long-term economic growth. the white house is so unserious about cutting spending that it appears willing to slow-walk in the agreement and walked our economy up to the fiscal cliff. doing that puts our jobs and the country in danger. it jeopardize is a golden opportunity to make 2013 the year that we enact fundamental tax reform and entitlement reform to begin to solve our
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country's debt problem and revenue problem. as you can see, real revenue growth is critically important as long as real cuts in spending if we're going to solve our long-term fiscal problems. the election was not a mandate to raise taxes on small businesses. it was a mandate for both parties to work together to take on the big challenges that our country is facing. republicans are ready and eager to do just that. we made a reasonable offer, and is now up to the white house to show us how they are going to cut spending and give us the balanced agreement that the president has talked about for weeks. the president will step up and show us he is willing to make the cuts that are needed, we can do some real good in the days ahead. if not, he wants to keep chasing higher spending with higher taxes, this chart will look a
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whole lot worse, and our kids and grandkids are the ones that are going to suffer because washington was too short-sighted to fix the problem. >> several weeks ago, polls said that 75% of the public said that tax rates for the upper income earners should expire. why are you holding out for tax cut for the wealthiest, when most americans -- [indiscernbile] >> raising tax rates will hurt small businesses at a time when we are expecting small businesses to be the engine of job creation in america. ernst and young has made it clear, if we were to do what the president asking for, 700,000 jobs would be at risk. it is simple. [indiscernbile] >> why is it every christmas we are doing this every single
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year, no matter what? >> we really should not be. i argued going back to the spring that this issue had to be dealt with. in may, the house moved a bill to replace the sequester with other cuts and mandatory spending. in july, the house passed a bill to extend all the current tax rates. i have been pushing all year for us to address this problem. here we are at the 11th hour and the president still is not serious about dealing with this issue right here. it is this issue, spending. you go back -- and i want to mostabout pulolling, americans would be that spending is a much greater problem than taxes. >> [indiscernbile] >> unfortunately , that is the case we're dealing with today.
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>> would you say that you would categorically not put a bill on the floor to raise tax rates on any bracket? >> i do not understand the question periodn. >> the law of the land today is that everyone plus income taxes will be going up on january 1. i made it clear that is unacceptable. until we get this issue resolved, that risk remains. >> can you describe how to cook it is to craft a deal at your conference will support while not jeopardize your job as speaker? >> i am not concerned about my job as speaker. what i am concerned about is doing the right thing for our kids and grandkids. if we did not fix the spending problem, their fees will be -- their future will be rather
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bleak. >> [indiscernbile] >> they put spending cuts on the table. unfortunately, the new stimulus spending they want almost outstrips all the spending cuts that they have outlined. >> [indiscernbile] and people have been wanting to know -- >> there is no such law. >> after the election he said increasing tax rates was unacceptable. you have been less definitive you say things you oppose the idea at that is what he said -- >> i do not oppose the idea. >> [indiscernbile]
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would you permit a vote and couple that and -- ts are and ands and burt like candies and nuts. my goal is to get to an agreement with the president that addresses this problem. >> [indiscernbile] >> i have no idea. >> leader reid is made it clear that he agrees with the president with the debt limit, giving the president the authority to raise that unilaterally. does that complicate your effort, if they are united? >> he thinks that senator reid of course then senator obama which ever have given in to president george bubba bush the unlimited ability to raise the debt limit --
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>> they are talking about doing it now. >> do you think there is any chance that senator reid or then senator obama would have done that? zero. congress will never give up the ability to control the purse. the debt limit ought to be used to bring fiscal sanity to washington, d.c. >> [indiscernbile] with a $1.5 million [indiscernbile] do you support the idea of raising that -- >> if the justice department is not going to enforce the law of the land, the congress will. thank you, all.
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>> nancy pelosi also briefed reporters today on the latest fiscal cliff negotiations and the economy. lawmakers have three weeks before the bush-era tax cuts are set to expire for most americans. >> good morning. thank you for being here. here we are, 18 days from a possible fiscal cliff. hopefully not. 12 days until christmas. and here we are once again, having a key to the zero-day work week in the congress of the united states. you have to ask the question -- why are we going home instead of working very hard to forge an agreement to avoid that fiscal cliff? why are we not working very hard to pass legislation to address the needs post by
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katrina? people out there are waiting to see if we can manage what we're doing. if we take christmas and any back in time, because the most precious of all commodities, because they cannot predict results. if we take christmas an engineer back from there, because that is the day we will not see in session if we could engineer a path forward to say what can we do in that amount of time -- we have to come to some agreement in the next couple of days or the beginning of next week for us to have engineered our way to a solution. i was not trained as an engineer, but i admired their work, because they find solutions and make things work. they make things operate. we have to do is politically engineer a solution. if we agree that we will have a
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solution and that we will avoid the cliff, as i think we all should agree to that, then what are the steps we need to take and how quickly can we take them? so we at least have consumer confidence that can improve, but we have a week that comes to an end where the market that has the confidence to go for? so far they have tested that we are not so stupid to go over the cliff. the markets have reflected some optimism in that regard. but the consumer spending, as you see by some statements of the ceo from walmart, for one, that the season is not what is hope for in terms of consumer confidence, consumer purchasing.
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we are coming down to the wire in a matter of days. last week we went out on wednesday morning. this week we will probably go out on thursday morning after having come in on tuesday. 80 bibby a zero-day work week. that is not -- that does not make sense. we're coming down to the wire. test to be clear, democrats have said they have already agreed in the budget control act and in the budget legislation passed by this congress to $1.60 trillion in spending cuts. we have agreed in the affordable care act and the president's budget over $1 trillion in savings in medicare. this is to increase benefits, and to strengthen it, and it has just remained for republicans to
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agree to pass the middle-income tax cut, which gives a tax cut, by the way, to 100% of the american people, the people making over 200 ticket thousand dollars a year. they get a tax cut of up to $250,000 a year and are asked to pay a little bit more beyond that. this is all about confidence, consumer confidence, market confidence. it is about creating jobs and growing our economy. karen bernanke has said if we do not act -- and we should act as soon as possible because it is already a slope here -- if we do not act, the economy will go over the cliff. the economy will go over the cliff. what war motivation do our republican colleagues have to get the job done and manage the
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issue, to engineer a solution said that we can go for? it would be in two stages. this year we will deal with spending and issues i mentioned earlier, and next year we can take a bigger issue here, perhaps lowering the rates for individuals. that is a longer endeavour, and also to look at how we can increase savings from the entitlement side of it. the speaker had proposed a two- step process. let's take step one, a big down payment, and then let's go to step two that we can subject to scrutiny to see if they can create jobs if they reduce the deficit so we can grow the economy. any questions? >> >> you talk about comprehensive tax reform. >> i sit katrina, not sandy.
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-- i said katrina, not sandy. thank you for everybod for putting that through. at that time it was katrina. every day that we did not pass something with katrina caused great apprehension in that region and with individuals living there. so the same thing with sandy. if we see this little bit now and this little bit now and cannot spend that -- no. it is what you can plant on now. the timing is really important for cyndi as well, as when it was when we had a similar impasse because of the iraq war, that people were concerned would hold up with the katrina
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funding. yes. >> going toe comprehensive tax reform that will lower everyone's rate. >> if this statement was an argument about the coupling, with higher income tax, we all agree that we should have a middle income tax. but in tax cuts on the table when we bring new comprehensively how we get additional revenue, and reduce the deficit. how those decisions affect investments and growth and creation of jobs. i take what he said the complete opposite way. putting this on the table next year so we can justify its existence. because this is just the justification.
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this is what it has done, -- >> spending cuts, with the budget, they have the revenue and this is possible for the president. >> he is not and i don't know if that is a reason or an excuse but this is not a serious statement. go to his table and debate this out, manage the issue, don't make up excuses as to why you are working two days a week. by thanksgiving -- we were able to be home for that.
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this is just totally, the republicans sent a letter. they had no specifics. the president has been very specific. if you have read what the president has put forward, it would have to be this high for you to believe. this is what the president has put forth. this is one number and let's get real. about thereal solution. charge -- have you seen the president? the president has been very specific.
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this is 1.6 trillion dollars. the president wants investments and infrastructure. he wants job-creating investments. you are not going to reduce the deficit by cutting away to this. and the prospects of job creation, which produced revenue. i know that you have seen the president paused specificity. alaa specifics from the president. and the president said -- -- let's all take a deep breath. the back-and-forth is only useful if this enhances
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understanding. this is only useful if that eliminates the possibility. don't even think about raising medicare. we're not throwing the seniors of america over the cliff to give tax cuts to the wealthiest people in america. we have clarity on that. and all of these other things go to the table, >> $600 billion in entitlements, $600 billion was the number that they put out. is there any potential? with 460? >> this should be left until next year. if you want to stop the
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seniors, before you harm one hair on the heads of the wealthiest people in the country, are we serious about this society -- protected, this is a logger conversation. and if you want to talk about social security and having this on the table -- any savings from social security that can be created to strengthen this -- to give tax cuts to wealthy people and call this deficit reduction. i am thinking that this must be why it -- >> that is what people suspect as well. what are you looking for as
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clues as to whether we will get a deal? >> when we met with the president -- we talked about how we wanted to avoid -- we wanted to avoid the cliff and we knew that there had to be the elements -- of cuts and of addressing the entitlements and having revenue. the speaker suggested and most of us agreed, we had our own versions of the same two steps, with the down payment now that would be significant and we would go to another stage where we would have the tax reform, and the loophole closings, whenever you could do in a comprehensive way, not just taking one thing but i comprehensive way, and also
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putting on the table how we strengthen, how we strengthen medicare and social security, so my understanding from those who have visited the office, they understand we have to have revenue and what we had hoped from a few weeks ago is that we would have milestones along the way, to see how the business works, and there is your goal and your timetable. and they would spend more by now. and time is growing short. at a comprehensive, big, bold, balance, and the initiative to -- hopefully, they are not.
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and if you get closer to the time, i just don't know. i think that we have to go. >> you had one yesterday. >> the president in his last meeting with the speaker did agree -- do you worry as this goes for that there is any progress? we slow the increase to the cost of medicare in this regard and the president has a couple of
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hundred dollars billion in his budget, that we fully support. the president knows our views and shares our values. and the speaker may need our votes. i am confident about that. thank you all, very much. >> on the senate side of the capital, harry reid and other senate democratic leaders held a press conference about the fiscal cliffs. including hurricane sandy legislation. this is about 20 minutes. >> and here he is.
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>> with every passing day, the republicans are calling on john banner to guarantee tax cuts to the middle class. today, sen. cornyn will be the second ranking republican next congress. they'll call upon john bennett to the reasonable thing. they will have this below sooner or later. those rates go up by operational luol -- and he said this all, this is true. within three-quarters of the american people including 61% of republicans agree with john corn -- john cornyn that they
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cannot be held hostage were giveaways to billionaires. the only question is how much the trust's sole class families and how much they will have to endure during this process. many other pieces of business critical to middle-class families that we will be working on if we resolve the fiscal cliffs. they are waiting and waiting for the press conferences, and reality will set in. and it hasn't yet. he is ignoring the points of the american people. speaker banner knows, or he should know, that we have to pass -- this would sell to the
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house of representatives. i would doubt that there could be any democrats voting for this and as we know, the republicans -- more republicans joined every day. i understand that the house is gone until -- one reason that they're asking to leave is so more republicans will say that what they think he is doing is wrong. they are leaving and this is hard to comprehend. we have nothing to do until they do something. we're waiting for them to do something that will help the middle class. the american people should not have to have their tax cuts held hostage and -- to the self interests.
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>> the obvious question that the american people were asking is, what is john bender working for. the farmers are trying to recover from a tough crop year but john bender will not call a vote. traditionally, we did not have a
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vote on this. we would not call this for pat -- passage. hal blog the delete soon for that bill? so that we would make the postal service still retains the very best in the world. what is john banner waiting for what it comes to tax cuts, forcing families across america? this is the reality that we face. we send the bill to him months ago, that will protect 98% of american families but he will not call this on the floor. is he waiting for what will happen on january 1. everyone will see a rate increase its of 14 families? is he waiting for the fix with the doctors.
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his election as speaker, is that what he is waiting for? putting this off, for america's working families, it is not good for this recovery and this economy. there is solid support among republicans across america, to make sure that we protect working families. now the house has gone home again, and it will come back next week. at that time i don't know what we can accomplish in a short period of time. we have major measures that can call -- if >> i will address the
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unfinished business in a bit, which is sandy. you have seen the devastation >> i've seen storms and horrible natural disasters and your heartbreaks for them. when you see how broad this is, hitting so many people and hitting so many different places, it is astounding. let me say, we need help. we desperately need help in the new york, new jersey area. last night two billion people around the world tuned into a benefit concert to help raise money for sand's reliefestings and now it is time for the government to step up to the place. congress has stepped up 39 times to help state and local governments to respond to
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disasters. there is a wisdom here that has been in the federal government for decades. that is, when god's hand strikes no localities can handle it on their own. we unite as a nation to help one another. following katrina the government passed aid following 10 days of after the storm. we passed nine fundamentals a total of $108 billion and frankly, the damage from sandy, the economic damage is worse. they lost about 270,000 homes and in new york we lost 305,000 homes. that is new york alone. they had about 20,000 small businesses, put out of business, gone. we have over 270,000. so the damage is enormous. and you know, we members of new
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york delegation have always been there when other parts of the nation were struck by distafters. new york tax dollars went to the gulf and to fight fires out west and flooding in the missouri and mississippi valleys and now, unfortunately, we've been struck. we hope and except our colleagues to show the same courtesy to us. chairman, in a way the senate appropriation committee has done an excellent job. leader reid has indicated that we're going to move it to as soon as impending issues are complete. i believe we start monday morning or monday afternoon. we hope this is a baurp priority. i've been concerned so see some reservations expressed by some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i want to address a few.
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the big unfortunate myth out there is we should not move further until huge spending cuts are agreed to at the same time. we never bog down disaster aid request with political disagreements like this. the first large katrina relief package, the same amount we're talking about here was not offset and it passed with no fewer than 97 votes and president bush's full support. second, some people on the other side of the aisle speculated that the affected areas may not be able to spend the money right away and we should not act quickly. when a major project is undertaken the government does vets pay out the costs until the project is complete. so if a locality is going to rebuild a road or tunnel they need to know that the money is there so they will know they will be reimbursed.
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if you want to do this year by year, you can't say we'll fix the large tunnel, we'll fix half a mile this year and we'll see if we can get the money next year. or we'll build after the dunes to protect staten island now and we'll wait until next year to see if we have it next year. that is not how it works. the report relies on past strategies. so for instance they said only $85 million would be sent this year. that is laughable. i spoke to new york and new jersey, that is wrong. they base it on what happened with ca tree ca tree fla. this is a whole different process. in katrina, the number one thing will help homeowners rebuild. in ca tree fla many of them moved away.
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we have homeowners living in homes that have structural damage and mold, or relatives waiting to rebuild. it will happen more quickly than the report says. finally, i've seen some critics say what about mitigation? it is not a new thing, it is making sure the same storm damage happens again. we don't want to rebuild a tunnel so to same storm order can flood in. we want to build it better so there is more protection. when we tell homeowners to rebuild, we tell them to build a couple feet higher so the storm won't damage their first-floors and basements. that is natural. mitigation also involves putting in sand dunes and other natural barriers when there is another storm it doesn't do the same damage. right now there is no protection. so mitigation has always been done. i remember voting for katrina to
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move a rail line inland at the request of a senator. to build it by the shore it could be flooded again. so it a foolish view. we're going to work new york, new jersey, with our colleagues to debunk these myths and hopefully we can get support, full support from colleagues on both sides of the aisle so we can pass this bill next week. >> i want to talk about a bill house is shameful inability to pass this important, critical bill. today marks the 232 nd day since the congress has passed the act.
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16 republicans joined with us to pass it. that was at a time when we saw a lot of partisanship in this town. it's marks 232nd day of inaction by speaker boehner. they are insisting on an alternative measure that removes protection for tens of millions of women in this country. we should not be picking and choosing victims of abuse to help or ignore. frankly, i'm surprised to see them soed amently opposed to supporting a women's act when we all know issues affecting women and families played a major role in the election. voters called for putting the protection of women before politics and ideology. answering their call should be begin by passing the senate's bipartisan violence against women's act. who they love should never
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determine whether or not the perpetrators of domestic violence are brought to justice. women cannot aford any further delay, not on this bill. i hope speaker boehner and republicans hear this today. they look at the letter that nine republicans asked for this bill to be brought up. we're not going back down, we're going to keep fighting. 232 days is inexcuseable, actually, one day is inexcuseable. the clock is taking an women across the country are watching. >> republicans are saying this request lacks detail. >> there is huge amounts of detail. i spoke to a senator last night and we're getting him all the details. there is huge amount of detail. the administration, you may remember, the two governor's if
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you add their request it totaled over $80 billion. the senate took a week and half scrubbing it carefully and bringing it down to $60 million and the details are very available. >> have you had contact with the speaker directly and do you think it might be helpful in this process? >> my office is open any time to the speaker, our staff has had some contact and he has not seen fit to advise the council. he is doing it directly with the president. i have talked to these three senators and others, i'm misty fied that we haven't had significant movement from the republicans. all the president is asking, all we're asking is take care of the
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middle class and do something about the richest of the rich in this country. as i indicated with the poll numbers around the country, more than 75% of the american people think we're on the right side of that issue. if we had soment movement on that, the president said he is willing to take some significant action. we have a record of recognizing that is important. we have done more than $1 trillion of cuts without a penny of revenue. we have already done that. they keep talking about entitlements, we look at the affordable care act. we look at that. we took waste, fraud, and abuse out of medicare, extended the life for 12 years. we're willing to take a look at cuts, we know we will have to do some.
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we'll be glad to do that, it is part of what we need to do. it is unfair to walk away from it. i'm not -- the state tax, that is something we should negotiate. right now it is $5 million, 35% tax. these people john kyle and others who talk about how important this is haven't said a word about this to anyone. that is going to drop down to 55% tax. is that what they want? it is all in their hands. as i've said time and time again, to this day, the republicans have not identified five corrects of actual money. they are talking in generalty. we will do revenue. it is the same thing that the share, the supercommittee, the same problem they ran into, the
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same problem that boehner and obama had the problem there. same thing with biden -- they will not agree to money. the only people in america think the richest of the rich should not pay more money are the republicans. >> yesterday, you announced the new democratic committee assignments. would you support term limits? >> no. >> on this issue of bills that aren't getting passed. republicans, i think on both sides they have been saying that there is a lot of bills that the house has passed and come over here and not received votes. >> i can give you a long list of things we haven't done. when you have to every time you come to bill you have to have a motion to proceed and it takes 10 days.
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it limits what we can get done here. >> are you going to bring any of those bills up here? >> sometimes a long time i guess. >> how confident are you with your talks to the republican that you can get the bills through? >> obviously, we need the republican support. i'm confident that the democrats are very strong behind us. we're working on republicans and we're not there yet, that's for sure. we hope that they will be there, you know, every senator no matter what their party all the to think, what happens if a disaster strikes there area? do they want to say there should be offsets? do they want to say do a little bit now even though the needs are so much greater? i don't think so. i'm hopeful they will rise to the occasion.
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>> this afternoon united nations susan rice withdrew her name for consideration to be the next secretary of state. writing to president obama saying if nominates i'm convinced the time will be lengthy and costly to you. the president accepting rice's letter saying i spoke with susan rice and accepted her decision to remove her name for secretary of state the secretary of state clinton will testify a week from day on the attacks of benghazi.
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on capitol hill today, just this afternoon within the last couple of minutes word that speaker boehner will meet with president obama about the fiscal cliff and negotiations in the speaker office september out a message theying that speaker boehner will meet with the president at the white house. we'll keep you posted on that. here's is a look at prime time programming. we'll get the updates on the fiscal cliff on c-span. c-span 3 has a look at the deletes of the nation's infrastructure. all of that getting under way at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the c-span networks. >> my inspiration was the idea, i wanted to explain how told tarian happens.
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we know the documents of the cold wars and staw lynn, churchill, and truman. we read them, we have written them. i want to show from the ground up. what did it feel like to be one of the people who were subjected to this system. how did people make choices in this system? how did they react and how did they behave? one of the things that happened in 1979 one of the regions that we called eastern europe these countries no longer have much in common with one another. >> more with ann applebaum from the end of world war ii. from her narrative "iron curtain" sunday night on c-span's q&a. >> the white house was very
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controversial as most things in america were. who designed washington city, there was competition. americans were not having a palace. it was not particularly awe inspiring. in fact, a diplomat told the congress it was neither large nor awe inspiring but the answer that the congressman gave was the building served it purpose. if it was larger praps more president would be declined to become its permen innocent resident. -- permanent dez represent. >> the president's home and photographs and history. watch sunday evening on c-span 3's american history tv. >> the mayor of new jersey went
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before congress today along with the new york's small business director and the long island small business president. this is about an hour and a half. >> we want to discussion the small business administration response to hurricane sandy. the president's recent supplemental request in this space and state and local small business recovers in the impacted region. i would like to thank our witnesses that will be testifying in just a moment and i will introduce them in just a moment. but let me make a couple of brief opening statements. we're here today to evaluate the response in the aftermath of hurricane sandy that struck the northeastern of the united states on october 20. hurricane sandy claimed the
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lives of 132 americans, damaging and destroying more than 151,000 homes and 459,000 businesses. leaving more than 8.5 million families without power, heat, or running water. most of the water and electricity and power grid have been turned back on but i understand that there are still communities that are challenged. the scale of this disaster have created significant challenges and successful recovery will require a sustained effort on the part of the federal, state, and local officials. private businesses, voluntary organizations, neighbors, and survivors, and of course themselves. earlier this week i had the chance to tour parts that were hardest hit. i was led on that day trip by senator menendez.
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senators from montana and michigan took the time to tour the area because we're very concerned and senator vitter was scheduled to come and planned to but weather delayed him. so we have democrats and republicans with their eyes on the disaster. one of the reasons we're here today to make sure the federal government through the small business administration is doing everything in its power to assist the thousands of small businesses that have been hurt in this natural disaster. by in large, the federal response has been robust to hurricane sandy. more than 5 hundred,000 people have registered for temporary housing. fema is on the ground has provided over 15 million meals, 20 million liters of water, 7 million blankets and 700,000
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tarps. d.o.d. delivered gasoline to over 300 stations. and millions of gallons of sexual warp were pumped out of the tunnels. i want to take a minute to thank, again the first responders at every level from fire houses to police stations to volunteers in the neighborhood as well as the national guard from so many states that came to the aid of the northeast. the president and numerous administers have been on the ground meeting with the leaders. the governors of new york and new jersey have been here to express their desperate need for help and support. i want to start with pozztiver statistics and go into a few
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areas that i'm concerned about. one of the areas i'm concerned about is the fact that the fba has only approved two and half million disaster loans. however, the dispersement while those numbers sound impressive, the disbersment is only six million and we want to get to if bottom of that today. i understand this number is expected to grow and as this statement was put together those numbers have changed. i think it is important to keep our eyes on the results, what is happening on the ground for businesses and homeowners making decisions about when to rebuild, how to rebuild, and where to rebuild. if they are going to rebuild, it is a big decision. as chairman of this committee and senator from one of the hardest hit states in recent years i believe one of the most
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-- biggest responsibilities is -- i took the opportunity as chair of this committee to ton up this response. i'm proud to see it in operation today. in the past, planning was insufficient, staff and funding came up short. there were immeasurable delays, red tape and paperwork. following the 2005 storms that took over 74 days to process a home lone and 66 days to process a business loan. even longer for disbursement of disaster funding. they pushed disaster victims that were lost in the flooding. i hope we will hear testimony that the red tape has been eliminated, that we're not requiring survivors to produce multiple copies of tax records
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that in many cases were lost in the storm itself. so for this reason i'm pleased to see we've had a great deal of improvement with the f.d.a. but i want to note that these reforms included a disaster loan limit increase from business from $1.5 million to $2 million. new tools were authorized following catastrophic disaster. improved coordination between i.r.s. and fema. and very importantly, allowing nonprofits for the first time to be jible for economic injury disafter loans. if this in a storm like this the first groups that are going to be turned to is your volunteers, chamber of commerce, your local organizations that were themselves devastated, losing headquarters, losing member, losing staff members, sometimes
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in loss of life. people have moved away or not living in the community where they lived. it is important get these nonprofit organizations back up. they will become the leaders in the recovery. building on these reforms the 2010 small business reform jobs act alloweding a culture businesses to receive economic recovery loans. i hope these will come in handy this time around. so i'm pleased to report the time prime for home loans has been reduced to 74 days. business loans from sandy are averaging 10 days compared to the 66 days in 2005. however, i do think we need to do more in terms of getting money onen the ground and we'll share of what you have shared
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with us in terms of actual disbersment. we also need to modify requirements that borrows must use their personal homes as collateral when other collateral is available. i have asked that to be in the supplement to give borrows the max flexibility in a time like this. especially in businesses that have been utterly destroyed and i saw for myself, thousands just the few hours i was on the ground but we were in new jersey, no long view beach, a small community. i think the mayor has been there and his father was the mayor before and he said he has never seen anything like this in 50 years. and block after block after block restaurants, gas stations, toy store, barbershop, hair dresser, on and on, just
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completely gutted with the debris out front. we've seen these visuals before at home and it is heartbreaking. right now, in a very sensitive time of the calendar with holiday season, with christmas coming up, some of these businesses have invested their entire lives and sometimes seasonal because you are on a coastal area. have to make a decision if they are going to reopen for memory day. getting these loans out for the taxpayer is what our goal is. i'm not going to go into the examples that i have about some of those businesses because i do want to hear from the leaders of the small business administration. i will say that the president sent up just yesterday, a day before, a $6.4 supplemental
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request and a chairman issued his mark last night and that document is now public. i believe that the sooner we pass the $6.4 supplemental which provides essential mitigation, help for small businesses, homeowners and most importantly, flexible community development disaster grants is absolutely essential for the recovery of this reason. because as we knew going after ike, katrina, and rita, if the people don't have confidence that their local leaders have been given access to serious money and $60 billion is a serious amount of money, they will lose hope because the disaster is so overwhelming and that is the last thing we want people to do is lose hope. you need to harness the human
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spirit to believe they can rebuild these communities in the face of overwhelming odds and build them stronger. so we're going to get into the testimony in a moment. i want to call on senator vitter and i want to thank him for sitting in for senator snow. then we're joined by senator blumenthal and i'm looking forward to his comments and their constituent in this situation. senator vitter? >> thanks, madame chair. i want to make three points briefly. first of all, again, i want to express my real sympathy for all the victims of sandy. this was a horrible, devastating disaster, wiping out homes, businesses, and livelihoods and
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it has a tragic human face and we need to keep that in mind. i'm certainly supportive of acting quickly in terms of help and aid that is going to directly, immediately help those victims. we also need to do that in a thoughtful and responsive -- responsible way with the american taxpayer in mind we can do both of those things. so i certainly support that. secondly on the s.p.a. side i think there is good news and there is room for counting improvement. the good news i do think we've come a long way, positively since katrina and rita. and the s.p.a. disaster response has been improved. the response in 2005 was slow an
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inadequate before steven preston took over and turned the program around and it has improved since then. were able to work on this committee in a bipartisan to write and enact further reforms that the senator mentioned. i was proud to work with others on the improvements, including the disaster reforms and the 2008 farm bill. but we can continue to learn and can continue to improve and enact reforms and we need to do that, including in this context. third and finally, i want to touch on an area that is outside this committee's jurisdiction but very important which is the core of engineers and core reform. the corps is also another federal agency that is very
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important in regards to any disaster like this and we have to improve the process and address real reforms so we can work quickly and adequately address needs like this. we've been working on that including in a bipartisan way and i hope to include many further significant corps reforms in the next bill that senator boxer and i are working on now. again, thanks to all of you and i'm certainly all ears. >> thank you. i would if i could, senator menendez has a time crunch would you allow him? thank you. senator you have been such a champion for the people of new jersey so thank you for joining us this morning. we're happy to hear your opening remark. >> thank you for the opportunity and thank you for coming to new
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jersey with several of our colleagues and touring the devastation along the jersey shore. i want to thank senator vitter who is on his way to join us and you feel, the weather has deevevated his flight. >> he has a wonderful tour of the airport. >> it looks better than what you would have seen in new jersey. so thank you for your effort. madame chair you and senator vitter are no strangers to natural disasters and you have been an important friend and all lie in understanding the lessons of katrina. this is the worst natural disaster that my state has ever faced. it took houses from their found dations, it changed the typeography of the coastline, it devastated some of the most
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densely populated communities in the country, it took lives and property. more than 2/thirds of our businesses lost power. many still today have their -- not only their lives disrupted but costing a lot more to make their transit to work. so much of their income is being bit out of the process. countless number of businesses are facing an overwhelming job of cleaning up and getting back to business. in new jersey there is 34,000 applications for small business loans that have been submitted. it can often take weeks if not months to get back up and running. revenue lost at the worst possible moment and as you saw on monday on long beach island, power is still not restored and small businesses are still
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closed as a result. while loans can be helpful many small businesses don't have the capacity to add more depth to their books. small business owners around the state have told me they have already taken out significant debt to survive their business, survive the recession, or to repair after hurricane irene struck. i see the mayor is here and he's going to tell us some of those experiences. they have full time and part time employees and they lost weeks, they could not make the represent. despite their own struggles when the shelter did not have electricity they gave up their stock so they could light up the
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place with candles. that is the type of response we've seen and there is so much more so. madame chair, what you are doing here is very important. final comment is, i appreciate what we're considering that has moneys that can give us the ware with the flexibility based on some of your own experiences in louisiana to be able to give them a grant which may very well make a difference between staying open or closing or getting open and closing or getting their business back or not. in doing so also highing so many people that were hired by these small businesses which are the engine of our entire commike background. i would ask my con except of my entire statement put into the record. >> without objection.
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>> thank you. i want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate this morning and for your involvement for your outreach in new york and new jersey and in connecticut and not just this disaster but going back to 2011 and the catastrophe that connecticut suffered when you personally contacted me and offered assistance. i want the people to know that they have a real friend in the senator of louisiana. your leadership has been tremendous in this area. i want to briefly say thank you to the president for providing the strong leadership that he has in the wake of this disaster in connecticut. he prompely declared connecticut
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an emergency area and that permitted the s.p.a. to come along along with fema and the people on the ground that have been there for quite some time, many of the fema officials in advance of the storm. unfortunately, many of these recent storms and their scope and depth and the devastation they cause that we may face a new normal in this kind of catastrophic weather-related event. we need to prepare in the longer term as well as the short term that why the suggests made early this morning and other improvements will be made are so critically important. i think you need to know that the connecticut s.p.a. office
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has approved $6.7 million in disaster assistance for struggling business in connecticut as well as residents. that figure is significant but there are a large number of requests for funding that is still being processed. therefore, a large number of homeowners and small businesses that need assistance their request for assistance, quite frankly, are still in the pipeline and we would appreciate even quicker attention and processing of them. nearly a month after hurricane sandy many connecticut residents are still waiting to hear if they are able to repair their storm-damaged homes. and small businesses are waiting to find out if they will have enough capital to retour their businesses to the predisaster conditions. they put their lives and their
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livelihoods back on track, they deserve to have that opportunity and i hope that the supplement will be approved quickly with the additional $250 million that will be able to service these loans as quickly as possible. i appreciate your assistance. i hope we can contact you, reach out to you, and work with you to accomplish these goals. thank you. >> senator cardin. >> i want to join you in thanking you. we had many conversations in the legislation that i hope you will be considering as early as today the supplemental emergency is critically important. for the small businesses and fema, and the department of housing all of those are critically important for the
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recovery of the communities that have been so devastated by sandy. maryland was hit hard, not as hard as new jersey and new york and our prayers and help go out to those communities that are broader in the amount of damage that was done. but if you live in chris field, maryland, the community of 1/3 of the population lives below the poverty level. you are looking for the government to help you during this time and that community needs the assistance. if you live in the other part of state where almost every home lost power, 3,000 trees came down. 30 inches of heavy snow fell in a short period of time. both ends of our state were hit very hard and need help from the federal government.
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i very much appreciate the fact that this committee is holding this hearing to see how the small business programs can be effectively brought into play during this disaster to help small businesses. oakland, maryland and chrisfield, maryland have something in common, their economies are depend event on small businesses. that is where the people work. we do need to focus on how we can help the small businesses get back on their feet so we can have the type of economic progress in both of these communities that have been so disrupted because of sandy. let me also thank you for your help on an issue that was brought up during this committee. it worked successfully, it helped create jobs and i
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appreciate the fact that you are addressing that also in the supplement. and thank you for your help. i think that will also provide some additional relief to not just the communities affected by sandy and our country in helping small businesses deal with our current economic pressures. thank you for this hearing. >> thank you, senator cardin. michael chodos is with us, he is responsible to oversee the training programs for current and future entrepreneurs. i'm going to ask him to speak second. i'm going to ask james rivera to speak. but we asked michael chodos to be here because he is responsible for the counseling,
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mentoring, and training which is going to have to step up their game in the northeast. they are going to need the training to get back on their feet, potentially change their business model, potentially make some add justments to keep them in business. we're going to start a second panel in about 20 minutes so please keep your comments to five minutes. >> thank you for inviting me to discuss the evertsdzes in response to superstorm sandy and our role in the recovery. we appreciate your support to make our country better equipped to deal with natural disaster. we've seen first-hand the damage cause bird sandy. as you know, the damage is immense. this is one of the largest
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disasters that we've seen since katrina. i can assure you that the federal government is leveraging all of its resources to provide timely and all of its assistance. we're working closely with fema. we're closely coordinating with local and state agencies with local officials to make sure we're doing everything to assist the maximum number of businesses and homes. we're providing an one s.b.a. approach. thus far, we have deployed over 300 representatives to the region. as you know, we are providing -- is responsible for providing affordable, timely, and financial asis answer in the form of low interest loans in homeowners, renters ix and
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nonprofit organizations in the aftermath of a natural disaffidavit. we have made a number of improvetses over the years. we have reduced disafter loan times, streamlined application forms and have electronic application process. we have now destinated a case manager for each approved application so borrows know their principle point of contact when they have a question or need help. last year we signed a memorandum with hud. to ensure those with unmet needs . superstorm sandy, disaster survivors in new york,
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connecticut, rhode island, all received presidential disaster declarations can apply online or any of the centers, including the fema recovery centers. additional north carolina and virginia received an administrative disaster declaration. today, we have approved over 3600 applications for over 200 million. many survivors don't have access to radio, television, or internet. to address these situations we have a service center that is helping with the calls. as of this week we have met more than 50,000 people on the ground. s.b.a. has responded over to 80,000 phone calls at its
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disaster service center with a wait time of less than 60 seconds. we have over 2,300 employees working on superstorm sandy. this is in addition to all of our resource partners. if they are on the ground or at the resource center we're focused on one goal, meeting the needs of the families and businesses who are affected by this tragic event and helping to rebuild after this devastating storm. we're committed to do the hard work to ensure these small business owners are able to emerge stronger before the disaster. i appreciate the opportunity to update this committee on the recovery efforts. we believe that the reforms we've instituted are helping us to respond to the needs of the survivors. i look forward to answering any questions and thank you.
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>> thank you. mr. chodos. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify. since sandy struck, s.b.a. has been on the ground across the region providing individuals and businesses with information, support, and access to disaster recovery loans. as communities rebuild, s.b.a. is there from day one and we'll stay deeply involved over the long term. that is why, in addition to our disaster response team, our office of entrepreneural development and our partners play a key role in immediate disaster response and in helping the small businesses restart, rebuild, and thrive again. there are hundreds of thousands-o small businesses
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affected in the area. with 44 small business development centers, 14 women centers, our partners work together with s.b.a.'s center tow help staff of disaster recovery centers. and they selt up informational events in communities across the area. in this early period we help our business owners map out the process, collect information, and apply for disaster loans. they also connect business owners with local, state, and federal resources. and they help small businesses take the first concrete steps to get the capital, resources and mentoring they need to get back up and running. for example, our new york s.b.a.
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created a one-stop website to provide information about important resources for small businesses. it is now a critical tool for individuals and businesses across the state. in addition to access to resources, thousands of affected businesses will need individual help one business at a time. in just one recrebts example, our women's business center in the bronx was contacted by a local manufacturer and distributor which experienced significant damage and needed help accessing capital. we helped them apply for a loan, reviewed its information and plan, and helped it craft a long-term plan to recover and rebuild sealts. this process is being repeated by volunteers across the region and will increase substantially in the upcoming months. those who receive counseling and
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training are more likely to start and their businesses are more likely to survive and they are better prepared to have economic growth. we will play a key role in economic growth across the region. in addition to the on the ground support, s.b.a. takes a comprehensive tri focused air approach to strengthening and and rebuilding sectors where small businesses are hit the hardest. no small business is an island. every small business has its own suppliers and veppeders and thousands of small businesses across the region in turn, play a key role in masters, and distributors. through its extensive experience with regional innovation clusters, we know that
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successful, economic growth comes with connecting small businesses with growth capital and supply chain connections. our initiatives work. we plan to use what we've learned to support targeted, network economic development in affected striss across the region. inspects are already on the ground and we'll make sure that the businesses get the help they need in the months ahead. we thank you for your support and we look forward to answering any questions. >> let me just sub mitt for the record one of the successes as post sandy, post katrina was a more efficient application process. i want to submit for the record the two-page disaster loan, the one page personal financial statement, and the one-page
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request for tax information. the fact that that has been streamlined is very, very important. as i said, we still have a great deal more to do. and without objection i will put that into the record. let me make sure i start with the facts because it is a long haul. senator vitter and i are in the seventh year of recovering from katrina. i don't want to frighten people listening to this but it is a long road from recovering from a disaster. i just want to start with making sure we know what our challenges are. the record that i have and i want to see if it matches with what you have. in new york the documents that have been submitted show that there are 265,000 businesses that have been destroyed. in new jersey, it is 189,000.
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is that generally the records that you have, mr. rivera? >> yes, that is correct. >> just for comparison in katrina which is a no question catastrophic disaster on the gulf coast, we only lost 18,000 businesses. 265,000 businesses have been lost in new york and 19,000 in new jersey. now the only program that i know of in the federal government that is specific to meet the needs comes through your agency. we're pushing very hard for the community development grant to change into a much more flexible and better designed tool which is one of the primary tasks in this supplement which i hope
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congress will say yes. maybe use some of that money to craft more robust assistance. but given that, you can understand why i was a little bit concerned to hear that in new jersey we have 11,498 applications. 68 have been approved and nine are disbersed to date. in new york city, we have 105 have been approved and 12 loans have been disbursed. at the average loan, according to the documents preparing for this hearing was $13,000. i understand those loan amounts have been increased because this is a real moving target.
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every 24 hours these numbers move. but just to give some reference in sandy -- i mean katrina the average business loan was $1, 116, wilma was $135,000. wet we're at a fairly low amount for sandy. that number will go up, the afternoon loan amount. but i want the members of this committee to know and for the administrators to know that my eyes are on the results, not the process, no how many people we have in the field, not how much offices we have open, not how much money we're spending. my eyes are going to be for the next year with the help of this committee, and i think i have the support of both republicans and democrats on this, on the results of getting loans quickly into the hands of businesses or
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grants. it is impossible for these communities to recover without small business leading the way. it is just not going to happen. homeowners can rebuild but if there is no gas stations open, if there is no retail shopping centers, and i'm telling you seven years after katrina we still have neighbor neighborhoods that are looking for business opportunities. i don't think the federal government can do it all but i think the federal government can be a big supporter in this effort and i'm looking for smart partnership. can you please comment on these numbers and keep your comments short because i have another question. >> you are absolutely correct. we are very early into this disaster. generally we get most of our applications between week four and week eight then we have a 14 to 18 processing goal. this is week six in the disaster
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we're starting to get an influx of applications and we process within that time frame. but we're confident that we're going be able to get these applications processed timely. once we get the loan approved, we will generate the loan approving documents and get the disbersment out within the first five days of the application itself. >> let me ask you this. what are the deadlines for the application? i believe we may have to have those extended. in my experience people are so traumaized after the disaster. they are having a hard time getting their head around the fact they lost their home, lost their church, lost their business. it is difficult to make decisions, particularly, when you don't know what your neighbors are doing or the business next door are doing and people may need more time. what are the deadlines and do you have the authority to extends them? >> the current deadline in new
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york was just recently extended for all the states the deadline is december 31 and in new york city the deadline is january 28. we'll work with fema to see if we can get a possible deadline. >> so you are saying you do have the authority to extend deadlines if you find it is necessary? >> we don't but fema does because it is a presidential declared disaster but we're going to work with them. >> i'm going to ask the next panel if they believe their businesses in their communities need more time. my third question, explain in some detail if you can, what the preliminary conversations have been with secretary of hudd who is probably the best person in america to lead this disater. he is educated, well-experienced, and from that
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region. what have the ex-- what have the initial conversations been about some expressed business loans, $20,000, $25,000 loans to proven successful businesses. i'm not talking about new entrepreneurs taking opportunities in the aftermath as legitimate as that may be. i'm talking long-standing businesses. so we can answer the question are loans the only thing available. what is your answer to that and what are the outlines to our preliminary discussion? >> we're working with hudd and he's going to be the point person with the president in responding to superstorm sandy across the area. we've had discussions on the flexibility on how we can coordinate. we had the memorandum that we had signed thanks to your efforts. we're looking at how we can
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coordinate the loans and how they can be provided as part of the supplemental. >> have you gotten into a discussion on small grants or is that preliminary? >> we're still early in the disaster, we're working as hard as we can, to get the best results we can. >> senator blumenthal? >> one quick question, can you comment specifically on the different alternatives in terms of collateral that maybe available, senator andrew raised that point earlier. >> we follow the private sector practice. we will generally take the business assets and if there is a residence available we'll pick up the residence but as part of the proposed language we'll see from our perspective how that works but we do follow private
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sector practices. >> well, would you use collateral other than someone's home? would that be a departure from existing policy? >> yes, it would be a departure from our existing policy. we would look at what other collateral is available. >> so you will undertake that policy? >> we will come back once the legislation is passed and see if that is the best approach we can take. >> thank you. >> senator risch. >> you used an example since the catastrophe, where did you say it was, new york? what kind of business was that?
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and what type of insurance did they have? >> i will have to get back to you on that. i will say the availability of insurance is one of the key items of information that is obtained when a business is applying for immediate, either fema grants or s.b.a. disaster loans. so getting the full packet of that information is part of the intake process. more broadly, our resource partners who help staff the recovery centers take a holistic approach when a business walks in the door to find out where they are overall. what do they have? what are their needs? what is the plan going forward? >> perfect except i'm looking at the business loan application and it has a form number and what have you on it. if i was a claims processor or
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someone in your position looking at one of these, this thing would be incredibly short of information when it comes to making a decision as to whether taxpayer's money should go into this. i look at item 16, insurance coverage and in par rent that cease if any. you don't ask how much coverage a person has. you have coverage type, name of agent and policy number. i haven't had time to study this thing and maybe it shows up somewhere else. >> that is part of the application process. basically, the loan officer has the discussion with the disaster survivor survivor and the insurance agency. that indication does occur. and we make sure there is no duplicative funding that occurs. duplicative funding that occurs.
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